Sometimes even the Yokozuna (top sumo champion) needs a little appetite booster to get the appetite juices flowing.
Sunomono are traditional Japanese quick pickles that go perfectly as a side dish with rich cuts of fatty meat or mixed into this bright and refreshing sunomono rice noodle salad. They have the added bonus of being a great appetite inducer so you can keep on eating until you look good enough to strut your stuff… of course you could always cut back and enjoy it in smaller amounts for the opposite effect.
1 Liter of water
1 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 nob of ginger, thinly sliced
1 english cucumber
2 large carrots
200g frozen baby shrimp
250 g vermicelli rice noodles
sesame seeds (optional)
Get three bowls ready to pickle in. Use your peeler to peel off long strips of cucumber down to the seeds, (omit the seedy center) place the ribbons in the first bowl. The cucumber requires a 20 minute saltwater pre-soak to keep their bright colour. So cover with cold water and sprinkle in 2 Tbsp of salt. Stir and set aside.
Then use the peeler to peel off long strips of carrot and place in the second bowl. Place the frozen baby shrimp in the last bowl.
Bring the pickling liquid to a boil in a medium pot until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
Drain the salt water from the cucumbers. When the liquid has cooled, discard the ginger slices and distribute the pickling liquid amongst the three bowls, ensuring that all the ingredients are covered with the liquid. Cover all bowls with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool for an hour.
To serve, bring a pot of water to the boil to cook your noddles. Place noodles in boiling water and cook for 2 minutes until tender. Drain into a fine sieve and run under cold water to chill quickly.
In a bowl, pile up the noddles, top with cucumber and carrot ribbons and scatter on some baby shrimp and sesame seeds. Serve with soy sauce and a nice chilled Japanese beer.
Thank you for sharing, Pierre! We love your whimsical drawings of kitchen, cooking, and food.
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(Images: Pierre Lamielle)