Octopus and Cucumber Vinegared Salad

Vinegared things is called “Sunomono” in Japanese, an oil-free healthy salad.

There are many variety of fish and shellfish in Japan surrounded by sea.  And I was born and raised in a fishing village, obsessive about seafood.

Octopus and Cucumber Vinegared Salad

I know that sometimes Japanese seafood specialties are horrifying or tempting to foreigners.  A typical example is octopus.
There are four edible species generally.

  • Ma-Dako            Octopus vulgaris,  the commonest as edible octopus
  • Ii-Dako               Octopus ocellatus
  • Mizu-Dako        Octopus Enteroctopus dofleini,  known as giant Pacific octopus or North Pacific giant octopus
  • Yanagi-Dako     Octopus conispadiceus

Generally Ma-Dako and Ii-Dako are eaten in Kansai region, and Mizu-Dako and Yanagi-Dako eaten in Hokkaido, Tohoku, and Kanto region.


Today I’ve bought a half body of boiled small-size “Ma-Dako” from Akashi fishery, Hyogo Prefecture.

  1. Cut cucumber (1 medium size), make small incisions diagonally from the edge to 2/3 depth.
    (Although I skip if you want to make Jabara-Giri style, turn over and make the same incisions from the other side.)
  2. Soak them in salted water for a quarter of an hour.
  3. Cut octopus into bite size pieces.
  4. Make vinegared dressing with ingredients as below.
    rice vinegar (3 tbs), dashi broth (2 tbs), soy sauce (1 tbs), and sugar (0.5-1 tbs)
  5. Marinate cucumber and octopus in dressing.
octopus and cucumber
Octopus and Cucumber Vinegared Salad

Sunomono salad is oil free.  It’s so healthy.

Octopus and Cucumber Vinegared Salad

is an octopus.  There are four edible species in Japan, Ma-Dako (Octopus vulgaris), Ii-Dako (Octopus ocellatus), Mizu-Dako (Octopus Enteroctopus dofleini), and Yanagi-Dako (Octopus conispadiceus).  Commonly “Tako” indicates Ma-Dako.  真蛸(まだこ) literally “genuine octopus”      飯蛸(いいだこ) “rice octopus”      水蛸(みずだこ) “water octopus”      柳蛸(やなぎだこ) “willy octopus”
is a cucumber.  胡瓜(きゅうり) literally “cucurbitaceous vegetable from ancient country in China”