Cucumber and avocado salad, Japanese-style with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy

Cucumber, avocado, soy sauce, pickled ginger

At around 8:45 p.m. in Millbrook it was 9ºF outside and I was staring into the refrigerator. I closed it and stared at the door where my my shopping list was hanging (see below). I saw that eel was still on the list – obviously I’d forgotten to take the list with me on my last trip to Adams because there were things crossed out like cereal and red onion* and chocolate – I thought, “Gee, I wish I’d remembered to pick up frozen eel. All my food problems would be solved with a bowl of eel and sushi rice.”

I stared at the collage: the sloppy  list, the dog, the cheese labels, Douglas dressed up as a dancing woman, the weird homemade magnet Dean made and I fantasized about Zutto’s eel hand roll: I’m dipping the roll into the little tub of soy and wasabi and then taking a bite of pickled ginger. Oh! (the little surprised voice from the Wii machine went off in my brain). I was really craving a soy-wasabi-ginger combo. I had a cucumber and avocado so why not make a salad version without the seaweed and rice and eel? So I did and it was good.


  • Cucumber, peeled and diced
  • Avocado, small dice
  • cabbage (optional), slivered
  • onion, thin slivers (what ever variety you like)


  • wasabi in a tube, small squeeze
  • soy sauce, 2-3 T
  • rice vinegar, 1-2 T
  • vegetable oil, 1-2 T


  • sesame seeds, toasted
  • pickled ginger, chopped


  • Put all the salad vegetables together in a bowl. Add oil and mix.
  • Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, wasabi together in a small, blue and white, Asian bowl bought in Chinatown. Add sauce to the salad and toss.
  • Add the picked ginger and toss
  • Add the sesame seeds to top


*Are Red Onions Getting Stronger?

Maybe my tolerance for raw red onions is dropping. I thought they’d add color to the salad and, while they can be really good in a salad, be conservative in application. I had them in my Japanese-style salad but put in too many and now I’m an onion head. Haaaaaaaaaaaa.

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