Apr 14, 2021

Octopus and Cucumber Sunomono (たこときゅうりの酢の物)

Sunomono, written as 酢の物 in Japanese, literally means vinegared things in English. Shouldn't be hard to relate sunomono as some type of refreshing cold dish seasoned with vinegar and a touch of sugar. For this octopus and cucumber sunomono recipe, preferably I would use the giant octopus tentacles to make this light Japanese side dish, but since I've got the smaller kind local octopus in the fridge, that works just as well.

Octopus and cucumber sunomono (たこときゅうりの酢の物) -


  • 200 grams octopus
  • 1 skinny cucumber
  • 1/4 cup dried wakame seaweed
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Some Japanese tsuyu or light soy sauce (optional)


There is no need to peel the cucumber, but do thinly slice it then mix with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give the cucumber a gentle massage to rub in the salt. Rest in room temperature for about 15 minutes to let the salt draw out some moisture from the cucumber slices. Squeeze out the liquid and set the cucumber slices aside.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil then transfer the octopus over. Let it fully cooked through, remove from water and wait till the octopus is cool enough to handle. Cut into smaller chunks.

The octopus used here had a special treatment before my purchase. It was beaten first in order to tenderize the texture, so definitely save some cooking work for me afterwards. If you are using larger octopus tentacles for this recipe and prefer a less chewy bite, don't cut the octopus into chunks, slice it instead.

Soak the dried wakame in warm drinking water for couple minutes. Squeeze out the water and pat dry the wakame.

Mix 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and 3 teaspoons of granulated sugar together. Make sure the sugar has been fully dissolved. Also mix in all the prepped ingredients, I mean octopus, wakame, and cucumber. Taste and see if more salt is needed. You can also season with Japanese tsuyu or light soy sauce for that extra savory touch if desired.

I do recommend that you store this sunomono in the fridge for at least 20 minutes prior. It's best when served cold as a refreshing side dish. 

It's very easy to prepare and only take a short moment to do. If you're looking for something to munch on with a cup or two Japanese sake (don't drink and drive), this salad can be a great booster on your dining table. 

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