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Japanese Shrimp and Cucumber Salad Recipe

Course: Appetizer, Hors D'oeuvre
Total Time: Under 2 Hours
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Moderate
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Japanese Shrimp and Cucumber Salad

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

This is a great little hors d’oeuvre, best served with chopsticks, for people to reach for while sitting around having cocktails. If you like, you can serve various Japanese pickled vegetables as well as the cucumbers, but the cucumbers are more refreshing and less overbearingly salty than most pickled foods.

Yield: 8 hors d’oeuvre servings (2 shrimp per person)

  • 16 extra large or jumbo shrimp
  • 1 hothouse cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup loosely packed bonito flakes (optional)
  • 1 scallion, white part and 3 inches of the green, sliced very fine


Cook the shrimp by plunging them in about 2 quarts of boiling water and boiling for 3 minutes for extra large shrimp and 4 minutes for jumbo. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Peel the shrimp and, if you wish, devein them. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of each half. Slice the halves into crescents about 1/8-inch thick. Combine the cucumber slices with the coarse salt, rub with your hands until you no longer feel the salt, then drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Wring out as much liquid as you can by squeezing small bunches of the slices in your fists.

If you’re not using the bonito flakes, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, water, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. If you are using the bonito flakes, combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture reaches a boil, turn off the heat and add the bonito flakes. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain. Discard the used bonito flakes and chill the sauce.

Just before serving, add the scallions to the sauce. Serve the shrimp next to the cucumbers, with the sauce in a separate dish for dipping.

© 2007 James Peterson

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include optional bonito flakes.

30kcal (1%)
15mg (2%)
2mg (3%)
10mcg RAE (0%)
21mg (7%)
855mg (36%)
0g (0%)
0g (0%)
1mg (3%)

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