In the month of June, both refreshing, healthy cucumbers and crisp green peppers are in season. Cooking Japanese food with these delicious and healthy vegetables in season is easy and fun!

The month of June brings with it an assortment of delicious, fresh vegetables in season, many of which can be used in a variety of amazing Japanese recipes! Two common vegetables that are available all year round but are ideally in season in June are cucumbers and green peppers.

You might not think of cucumbers as anything more than an addition to a salad or sandwich, but in Japan, street vendors sell cold, fresh cucumbers on a stick. They make a perfectly refreshing summer treat, especially when dipped in sweet miso paste! And of course, green peppers have a multitude of culinary uses, most notably in Japanese stir-fry dishes.

Follow this guide to discover how to pick the best cucumbers and green peppers in season, and then try them in some of the recipes listed below!

Tips for Choosing the Best Cucumber in Season

Avoid cucumbers that have any imperfections, and especially wrinkles, which indicates that the cucumber has lost moisture. Choose cucumbers that are very firm. Smaller cucumbers tend to be crisper than large ones. Rich, green cucumbers with perfectly rounded ends are ideal.

Because cucumbers are extremely high in water content, it is very hydrating, which makes it a great treat for summer. Additionally, they are very low in calories and contain Vitamin C, as well as other beneficial chemicals that may help to reduce the risks of heart disease and cancer.

Cucumber Sushi Rolls with Shiso & Miso

The addition of cucumber in a sushi roll often helps to make a roll very refreshing, and this is no exception! Made with shiso leaves, mirin, miso, and other delicious ingredients, this easy-to-make sushi roll is a delicious summer recipe!

Get this easy-to-make sushi roll recipe now!

Tips for Choosing Green Peppers in Season

Believe it or not, red, yellow and green peppers are actually all the same pepper—sort of. All the peppers begin green on the stalk as they grow, but the longer you leave some of the peppers on the plant, the more they change in color and flavor. Green peppers are basically immature peppers, but they still have a very fresh flavor, making them ideal for many dishes.

When purchasing green peppers, look for ones that are a rich green all over, and feel firm and crisp. The skin should appear glossy and unmarked by spots or wrinkles. Any soft or damp patches indicate the pepper is no longer that fresh. Remove the inner core and seeds when preparing them for a meal.

Raw green peppers also deliver a lot of energy when consumed. They contain Vitamins A, C, B6, and folic acid, making them a healthy addition to any meal.

Soy Sauce Butter Sautéed Vegetables

This easy recipe can use any number of vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal or side dish. Simply add sliced green peppers and any other vegetables you desire to a sauté pan and cook them in butter and soy sauce. It’s as simple as that to put a Japanese dish on your table!

Find out how to make soy sauce & butter sau·té here.