Japanese cucumbers are thinner and have rougher skin than normal cucumbers. They have less water content and slightly more concentrated in taste.
Japanese cucumbers are a versatile cucumber for culinary use. They can replace any cucumber in any recipe and achieve the same desired results. They are excellent for simply fresh eating whole or sliced, as a salad, crudite and sandwich ingredient. They are often pickled, utilizing an ancient pickling method called Shiozuke, meaning salt pickle, but they can also be quick pickled and eaten within 24 hours.
Japanese cucumbers are a great cooling ingredient, utilized to contrast spicy and hot foods. They are also best used fresh when in-season as an ingredient in summer recipes. Classic preparations include gazpacho, ceviche, sushi, sashimi and bento. Cucumbers pair well with sweet, savory and spicy ingredients within a wide spectrum of cuisines. Best companion ingredients include tomatoes, citrus, rice, raw seafood, cured and smoked fish, melons, yogurt, chiles, pepper and mint.
Cucumbers are cut as thick sticks (seeds discarded) in the cucumber roll, and often used in fusion rolls.
The cucumbers are rolled in salt for a few seconds to release extra moisture, so they have a crispier texture. When choosing a cucumber it is good to find one that is not fully grown and has less seeds.