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Cucumber

Obviously cucumbers are popular not just in many Asian cuisines, but in lots of Western cooking too! There’s probably more cuisines in the world that use cucumber than otherwise. Thought to have originated in the Indian subcontinent, cucumbers are now used throughout Eurasian cuisines, the Americas, and parts of Africa.

Japanese cucumbers are thinner than Western ones, with smaller seeds too. They’re popular in sunomono, a vinegared salad.

Perhaps the most famous use for cucumbers across many cuisines is as pickles! This is true whether in Western cooking, Japanese, Korean, or elsewhere in Asia. While Western pickles are associated with dill and being particularly “pickle-y” and thicker, Korean and Japanese pickled cucumbers are often quite thin and more fresh with a lighter, bright tangy flavor.

Other than for pickling, cucumbers are also used in practically endless other ways to freshen up other ingredients. They’re popular in salads, curries, sauces, as garnishes, and more.

They’re around 95% water, so are low in calories while having noteworthy amounts of fiber, vitamins C and K, as well as the electrolytes magnesium and potassium. Uwajimaya carries Japanese cucumbers fresh in our produce department.