Japanese Pounded Cucumber Salad - Shojin Ryori

“This is shojin ryori or vegetarian temple cooking, a Buddhist vegetarian style of cooking in Japan. There are many versions of blunt knife pounded cucumber salads but this one is very nice. Often cucumber is pounded with a blunt side of a chef's knife or small stick lightly to break down the cucumber flesh in the middle so that cucumbers can be eaten in bigger chunks and flavor able to penetrate better. Japanese, English, or hot house cucumbers work best here, but if using thick skinned American style cucumber, cut in lengthwise in half and remove seeds first before proceeding.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Salt cucumber lightly and using a blunt side of kitchen knife or wooden rolling pin, lightly pound the cucumber to break down the flesh somewhat up and down. Cut the cucumber into 1 1/4 inch or 3cm pieces.
  2. Julienne carrot into about 1 1/4 inch or 3 cm pieces. Parboil for about 1 minute and chill in cold water. Drain.
  3. Julienne ginger and soak in cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain.
  4. Cut dry hot chili pepper into thin ringlets.
  5. Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and salt to taste in a bowl with cucumber, carrot, ginger and dry hot chili pepper. Let the mixture marinate for 1 hour before serving.

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