Sunomono noodle salad is tangy, mildly sweet and refreshing! Often available in sushi restaurants and usually topped with thinly sliced cucumber or shrimp, this dish makes a great appetizer or side dish. It can also make a light refreshing lunch!
Look up "sunomono salad" on the web and results will usually show a cucumber salad. I, however, am accustomed to a different sunomono salad that uses noodles and I think you're going to like it!
- Harusame noodles (Japanese potato starch noodles)
- Unsweetened rice vinegar
- Cooked shrimp
- Cooked crab
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- Wakame (seaweed)
How To Make It
Pour the just-boiled water into a measuring cup or bowl and add the sugar and salt. Stir until they are completely dissolved and the liquid is clear.
Add the unsweetened rice vinegar and stir.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
While the vinegar dressing is chilling in the fridge, let's work on the noodles and preparing your toppings.
Cook the harusame noodles according to the package instructions. The noodles I purchased were in sticks (versus bundles) and I boiled them for 10 minutes.
Rinse the noodles under cold water and set aside to drain for a few minutes.
Prepare your toppings like thinly sliced cucumber, cooked shrimp, cooked crabmeat, or soaked wakame.
Assembling the Salad:
Divide the noodles among your dishes and add your desired toppings. I like the combination of shrimp and cucumber because of the different textures. Keep it vegan by skipping the shrimp!
Pour the vinegar dressing over the noodles and garnish with a lemon slice wedge!
Commonly Asked Questions
Japanese harusame noodles are made from potato starch, making them naturally gluten-free! You can look for them in a Japanese grocery store or in the Japanese food aisle in your Asian market. The noodles are sold dried, either as sticks (like what I used) or as bundles.
If you cannot find harusame noodles, other possible substitutions are rice noodles, bean/glass noodles, cellophane noodles, or Korean sweet potato noodles (all of which are also gluten-free), but each of these noodles will have a slightly different texture than the Japanese noodles.
You can use regular white vinegar for this recipe.
Leftover sunomono noodle salad can be stored in its vinegar dressing in the fridge. I would suggest eating it the next day. The texture of the noodles may not be as soft, but they will still be good.
How To Serve Sunomono Noodle Salad
Sunomono noodle salad was always served as an appetizer or side dish at the Japanese restaurants I went to. It would, obviously, go great with sushi rolls or be a really refreshing start to slightly heavier dishes.
This noodle salad would pair really well with other Japanese dishes like Japanese Butadon Pork Bowls, Broiled Miso Salmon Filets, Pepper Beef Rice Skillet, or Flaked Salted Salmon Rice Bowls. It would also go great with Okinomiyaki Bites.
Enjoy a slightly larger serving for a light lunch and then finish it off with my Chewy Matcha Mochi Bites!
Sunomono noodle salad was always one of my favorite dishes to order when I went to Japanese restaurants in Vancouver, and I only came to learn later on that this noodle version sn't actually that common. Now I can make it at home so I enjoy it whenever I want, no matter where I live...and so can you!
Sunomono Noodle Salad
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- Wakame (seaweed)
- Lemon slice wedge
- In a bowl, completely dissolve sugar and salt in just-boiled water. Add rice vinegar and stir well. Refrigerate at least one hour.
- Cook Japanese harusame noodles according to package instructions. (I boil mine for 10 minutes.) Rinse under cold water.
- Divide noodles among bowls and top with any combination of thinly sliced cucumber, cooked shrimp, or wakame.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the noodles. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon, if desired.
- Japanese harusame noodles are made of potato starch and can be found with other dry noodles in a Japanese grocery store or in the Japanese food aisle in your Asian market. You can also order them online.
- Harusame noodles are sold dry and may be in the form of sticks (like what I used) or bundles.
- If you cannot find harusame noodles, other possible substitutions are rice noodles, bean/glass noodles, cellophane noodles, or Korean sweet potato noodles, but each of these noodles will have a slightly different texture than the Japanese noodles. Cook them according to their package instructions.
- Rice vinegar can be substituted with regular white vinegar.
- Omit the cooked shrimp for a completely vegan dish.
- Adjust the amount of sugar according to your desired level of sweetness for the dressing.
- Leftover sunomono salad can be stored in the vinegar dressing in the fridge. The harusame noodles will not be as soft, but they will still be good to eat.
- I would not recommend keeping leftover salad if using cellophane/glass noodles because the noodles will not be as enjoyable to eat.
- Place the noodles, toppings, and vinegar dressing in a jar and pack it for lunch!