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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 2 cups

This simple side dish is a delicious way to use up that extra cucumber rolling around in your fridge. Gently mashing the slices with the back of a spoon allows them to better absorb the flavors of a tangy-sweet dressing that will leave you licking your plate. Top with crunchy sesame seeds and serve alongside Vegan Soba Noodle Salad or Soft Tofu with Black Sesame and Wasabi Sauce for a complete Japanese-inspired plant-based meal.

Tip: Japanese cucumbers, also known as kyuri, are long and slender and do not contain any developed seeds, so they never have a bitter taste. If you can’t find them, substitute with Persian cucumbers.

Quick-Pickled Japanese Cucumbers in a ceramic dish on a red table with lotus chips in the corner


  • 4 Japanese cucumbers, sliced ¼-inch thick (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shiso leaves (optional)


  1. Place sliced cucumbers on a cutting board. Gently mash cucumbers with the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a vegan chef specializing in whole-food, plant-based cuisine. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of the Forks Over Knives: Flavor! cookbook, recipe author for the book Forks Over Knives Family, and recipe contributor to The New York Times best-selling book The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives magazine, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit for more.

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