Food Forum
Vol. 33 No. 3  October 2019




This recipe takes a hint from a type of gazpacho made with diced vegetables, while the dashi jelly adds a Japanese taste. This dish is delicious as a starter or as a fresh salad. Depending on preference, the proportions of dashi jelly or the vegetables may be adjusted.


Japanese cucumber
Appetizer serves 3-4

49 kcal Protein 4.6 g Fat 0.3 g (per serving)

Dashi jelly
  • 400 ml / 1 2/3 C dashi stock
  • Juice from 1 thumb-size knob of ginger, grated and squeezed
  • 7 g / 1 T unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 T Kikkoman Light Color Soy Sauce
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. Japanese cucumber
  • Salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, 150 g / 1/3 lb.
Vinegar-soy sauce
  • 1/2 T grain vinegar
  • 1 T Kikkoman Light Color Soy Sauce
  • 2-3 okra, total 30 g / 1 oz.


  1. From 400 ml of dashi stock, spoon 2 T into a small bowl. Add ginger juice and microwave until edges of the stock start to bubble.* Set aside.
  2. Place powdered gelatin in a bowl, add 3 T cold dashi stock and wait for one minute.** Heat another 3 T of dashi stock in microwave, stir into gelatin until granules are completely dissolved. Add the remaining stock, ginger mixture and light color soy sauce to the dissolved gelatin. Stir, then pour the mixture into a flat container and refrigerate until set.
  3. Peel the cucumber and cut into cubes 6-8 mm / 0.2- 0.3 in., about 3/4 C. Put the cubed cucumber in a bowl. Sprinkle with about 1/8 t salt and leave for 15 minutes; squeeze out excess moisture from the cucumber.
  4. Peel the tomatoes and cut into 8-10 mm / 0.3-0.4 in. cubes.
  5. Blend vinegar and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  6. In a separate bowl, place the cubed cucumber and tomato. Add 2 t of the vinegar-soy sauce, stir and taste; add more if needed.
  7. Remove okra stems and boil in lightly salted water for about 2 minutes until cooked; drain and cool. Cut lengthwise into halves or quarters, depending on size, and then into 8 mm / 0.3 in. pieces, a bit smaller than the tomato cubes. Put in a small bowl, stir in a small amount of the vinegar-soy sauce. Add okra to cucumber and tomato mixture.
  8. Spoon out the dashi jelly over the mixed vegetables; stir lightly. Scoop this mixture into serving glasses.

* Ginger has proteolytic enzymes that prevent gelatin from setting. Heating the ginger juice breaks down the enzymes to allow gelatin to harden.
** Some gelatin powder does not require this process, so follow package instructions for dissolving.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml