Experimental Friday: Namasu – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Wikipedia defines namasu as a Japanese salad consisting of thinly sliced uncooked vegetables and seafood marinated/pickled in rice wine vinegar. I define it as a cucumber with tuna Japanese salad from my childhood. Summer comfort food. We all enjoyed this sweet tangy salad of cucumber and tuna on rice. Yum! I have gone off tuna for some inexplicable reason. Canned, grilled fresh, raw in sushi… it just makes my taste buds revolt. So, instead of tuna, I’ve added thinly sliced onions. I still make the tuna version for my kids and a vegetarian version for me.

We are having home-made burgers for dinner and I thought this would be a great relish. I know I will also have a bit of it with rice. Because it’s just not the same without it.

wpid-20140321_205530.jpg2- 3 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced – I used a mandoline

3-4 thin slices of onion, halved

1/4 C white vinegar – rice wine vinegar may be substituted

2 Tablespoons sugar – I have used KAL stevia powder (1 provided scoop) but it’s not the same taste as I remember from my childhood

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated or chopped



wpid-20140321_211124.jpgPlace cucumbers and onion in bowl. Combine vinegar and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over cucumbers and onions and stir. Add ginger and stir until all cucumbers are thoroughly covered with vinegar mixture. Chill and serve.

I’m impatient and don’t wait until it’s chilled, but I highly recommend you to wait. The flavors have a chance to meld together and the taste is so refreshing and light.

For variation, try adding some tuna. My memory declares it delicious and so does my family! I’m thinking I may have to try this with some white fish and/or squid as a Japanese version of ceviche.



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