Sunomono and Namasu

In Zen cooking there are five different flavors we incorporate in each meal.
One of the flavor is something sour which is usually a vinegar based-dish.

The two most common vinegar-based dishes are, 'sunomono', 酢の物 and 'namasu' なます。
'su' in these words means 'vinegar'.

'Sunomono', and 'namasu' are very similar, yet different dishes.

The ingredients are pretty much the same but 'sunomono' vinaigrette is like a dressing,
whereas 'namasu' vinaigrette is more like a marinade that the ingredients can be marinated for hours.

Cucumber and Wakame Seaweed Sunomono     Recipe from Anja Van Wezel

Serves 2


Wakame 5g (soak in water)
Cucumber 1/2 medium size
Mandarin orange 1or regular orange 1/2
Peel the skin and cut in half.


Rice vinegar 2TBS
Mirin 1and 1/2TBS or 1TBS white or light brown sugar
Pinch of salt


Make the vinaigrette.
mix all the ingredients well, set aside.

Prepare the vegetables

Cut the cucumber lengthwise in half and remove the seeds if necessary.
Slice them in thin half-moon and sprinkled with about 1/2 tsp of salt.
(this is not to flavor the cucumber but the remove the excess liquid from the vegetable)

Rub the sliced cucumber gently and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess liquid from the cucumber.
(if it is too salty, lightly rinse the cucumber with water and then squeeze again)


Soak the wakame for 5 minutes in a water.
Squeeze the water out of the wakame.
Cut the wakame into small pieces.

Mandarin Orange:

Wash the mandarin and let it dry before you remove the zest ½ tsp
Peel the mandarin and cut the white skin off the parts. Save ½ TBS of the juice.

Mix cucumber with the wakame.
Mix the seasoning and the juice of the mandarin.
Add the vinegar mixture.
Let it sit for another 10 minutes
After about 10 minutes, add the mandarin parts to the cucumber and wakame.

Done. Serve cold.

*Do not add all of the seasoning at once. Find the right amount to add to your likings.

Daikon Radish and Carrots Namasu      Recipe from Anja Van Wezel

Serves 2


Carrot ½ medium size
Daikon radish or turnip about twice the amount of carrots.
Sea salt ¼ tsp
Lemon Zest ½ tsp

Vinegar mixture:
Sugar 1 ½ TBS
Rice vinegar 1 ½ TBS
Water 1 TBS
Kosher/sea salt ¼ TBS

Mix all the ingredients well until sugar is dissolved.


Cut the carrot and the daikon in fine stripes and put them in a bowl.
Sprinkle some salt and rub the veggies gently.
Let it stand for 15 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water.
Add the vinegar mixture to the vegetables and mix well.
Let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Serve cold.

*Do not add all of the seasoning at once. Find the right amount to add to your likings.


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