This Japanese style cabbage and cucumber salad recipe is made with quintessential Japanese ingredients such as sesame seeds and roasted seaweed, which give it a fantastic texture, while the dressing of rice vinegar, Japanese soy sauce, sesame oil, and grated ginger give it a delightful tartness. It’s the perfect side to Japanese fried chicken, pork tonkatsu and katsu burgers.
I think the food that we’ve missed most during this never-ending global pandemic – who would have thought this would last two and a half years and yet here we are – is Japanese food, and especially Japanese comfort food, and Japanese comfort food in Tokyo, which is why we’ve been making so much of this food at home.
I love making this Japanese style cabbage and cucumber salad recipe as much as I love eating it, as it’s such a breeze to make and can be made within ten minutes. Although let it sit longer and it tastes even better as the cabbage softens and the flavours meld together.
And I adore this cucumber and cabbage salad so much that I’ve made it twice in the last week, while Terence has been testing his Japanese fried chicken recipe (publishing tomorrow!), as they’re a perfect match. As is this Japanese potato salad recipe. Make all three recipes and you’ll have a very satisfying meal.
But before I tell you more about this Japanese style cucumber and cabbage salad, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or contribute to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.
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You could also shop our Grantourismo store on Society6 for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you a little about this Japanese style cucumber cabbage salad recipe.
Japanese Style Cabbage and Cucumber Salad Recipe with Sesame Seeds and Roasted Seaweed
We’ll take a rowdy Japanese izakaya joint in Tokyo with its lively vibe and groups of boisterous Japanese friends over fancy omakase meals in silence in a characterless dining room any day, as eating out is as much about the food as the people and atmosphere for us.
As much as we enjoy savouring a sublime piece of tuna in a fancy restaurant, we’d actually much rather mingle with the locals in a crowded noisy eatery in a Tokyo suburb, especially if we’re eating Japanese comfort food favourites, such as fried chicken and salad.
Which is to explain this week’s recipe for a Japanese cabbage and cucumber salad and a Japanese fried chicken recipe. And we have more Japanese izakaya recipes coming. No long stories tonight, let me share my tips to making this Japanese style cabbage and cucumber salad recipe.
Tips to Making this Japanese Style Cabbage Cucumber Salad Recipe
Just a few tips to making this Japanese style cabbage cucumber salad with sesame seeds and roasted seaweed as it’s super easy to make and literally comes together in ten minutes.
I recommend starting with the cucumbers rather than the cabbage, as the cucumbers need to be salted. Slice the cucumbers lengthways, use a teaspoon to deseed them, then holding the lengths together, slice them into 1cm pieces, transfer them to a strainer over a tray, and sprinkle salt over them.
Next, transfer the shredded cabbage, finely sliced scallions/spring onions, grated fresh ginger, finely sliced roasted seaweed or nori sheets, and black sesame seeds and white sesame seeds, to a large mixing bowl, and combine everything really thoroughly.
Let that sit while you make your dressing by adding the Shichimi Togarashi Japanese Seven Spice (we recommend the S&B brand), Japanese sesame oil, Japanese soy sauce, Japanese rice vinegar, and mirin to a jar with lid, screw the cap on, and shake that jar vigorously.
But before you pour your dressing over the salad, return to your cucumbers: squeeze any excess liquid from the cucumbers and transfer them to the mixing bowl, then pour on the dressing and use a salad spoon to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
Make sure you taste the salad before serving it, and adjust the seasoning to suit your palate. When it’s to your liking, transfer the salad to a pretty Japanese bowl, sprinkle some more sesame seeds on top, and serve. Ideally with Japanese fried chicken on the side…
Japanese Style Cabbage Cucumber Salad Recipe
- 150 g cucumbers deseeded, diced, salted, and drained
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 300 g white cabbage shredded
- 8 scallions or spring onions green part only, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger , finely grated
- 2 roasted seaweed or nori sheets thinly cut with scissors
- 3 tbsp black and white sesame seeds half-half
- 1 tsp Shichimi Togarashi Japanese Seven Spice
- 1 tbsp Japanese sesame oil
- 2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- Slice the cucumbers lengthways, use a teaspoon to deseed them, then holding the lengths together, slice them into 1cm pieces, transfer them to a strainer over a tray, and sprinkle salt over them.
- Transfer the shredded cabbage, finely sliced scallions/spring onions, grated fresh ginger, finely sliced roasted seaweed or nori sheets, and black and white sesame seeds, to a large mixing bowl, and combine.
- Make the dressing by adding the Shichimi Togarashi Japanese Seven Spice, Japanese sesame oil, Japanese soy sauce, Japanese rice vinegar, and mirin to a jar with lid, screw the cap on, and shake the jar.
- Squeeze any excess liquid from the cucumbers, transfer them to the salad bowl, pour on the dressing, and use a salad spoon to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Taste, adjust the seasoning if needed, transfer to a salad bowl, sprinkle a pinch of sesame seeds on top of the salad, and serve.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our Japanese style cabbage cucumber salad recipe, as we’d love to know how it turned out for you.