Japanese Cucumber Salad with Sesame-Miso Dressing


This fantastic salad combines cucumbers with two types of miso, toasted sesame and pine nuts. Be sure to use firm and super-crunchy cucumbers with few seeds. Slideshow: Great Cucumber Recipes 

Japanese Cucumber Salad with Sesame-Miso Dressing
Photo: © Andrea Fazzari
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1/3 cup Japanese sesame paste or tahini

  • 3 tablespoons brown rice miso (see Note)

  • 3 tablespoons white miso (see Note)

  • 3 tablespoons mirin

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

  • 12 ounces Japanese, Persian or kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 3/4 inch thick

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the sesame paste, brown rice and white misos, mirin, vinegar and sesame oil until smooth. Transfer the miso dressing to a jar and refrigerate until chilled, at least 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until the nuts are golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

  3. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 cup of the miso dressing (reserve the rest for another use) and toss well. Garnish with the pine nuts and sesame seeds and serve.

Make Ahead

The miso dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


Brown rice miso and white miso are both available on amazon.com.

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