While my mother canned some of the best sweet pickles I’ve ever had, she also made these quick little batches of pickled cucumbers as a condiment for the dinner table or as an afternoon snack. It wasn’t a dish that I helped with (because it’s so easy!), so I never learned how she made them, but I certainly remember how they tasted. I knew the marinade had vinegar and sugar, but what type of vinegar, what other ingredients and at what proportions – I had no idea. So many years ago (pre-internet, if you can imagine such days ever existed), I started playing around, trying to get the marinade just right for that deja vu moment. After a few batches, I had it. I’m not sure if it’s my mom’s recipe, but it sure reminds me of hers. Ever since then, I have been using these little “pickles” in salads, sandwiches, as a snack, and as a side for pot stickers and other dishes.
Of course, now that I do have internet, I find hundreds of recipes for these quick pickled cucumbers. Mine is a little different but one I’m going to stick with because I like it. If you haven’t made these pickled cucumbers, you should. They are SO easy and SO good!
Pickled Cucumber Recipe
Yields about 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes prep, 4 hours to overnight marinate
1/2 large seedless cucumber, or 1 medium cucumber, seeds removed (if not organic, I usually peel or partially peel)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. unrefined peanut oil
- Thinly slice the cucumber. Place in a large self-sealing plastic bag.
- Combine the sugar, vinegar and salt in a microwave safe container and heat in the microwave on high for 20 seconds. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the oil and whisk.
- Pour the vinegar mixture into the bag with the cucumber and seal. Shake to coat all of the cucumber slices with the vinegar.
- Press as much air from the bag as possible and seal tightly. Lay the bag on the counter and press it flat so that there is only one to two layers of cucumber slices. Lay the bag flat on a shelf in the refrigerator.
- Let marinate at least 4 hours, turning halfway through. You can also marinate overnight, turning the bag in the morning.
For Spicy Pickled Cucumbers add a touch of red pepper flakes.
One of the things that I love most about these “pickles” is that the taste and the texture change the longer they marinate. When I want a crispier pickle with less sweet, I use after 4 hours (like the ones in the picture). For a softer and sweeter pickle, I marinate overnight. You don’t have to use them all at once either. They’ll last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator so you can use them as you need them.
This batch of pickles was used in my Mango and Jicama Salad.
O.K – so I talked to my older sister the other day whose long term memory is “a little” better than mine, and was told that this isn’t my mother’s recipe! Apparently, my mother’s recipe used water, white vinegar, more sugar and salt and no oil. Oh well. Close enough.
I know that the addition of the oil may seem strange, but I’ve tried them with and without the oil, and personally, I like them better with the oil. The oil seems to tame the vinegar and makes the bite easier on my palette. I like vinegar, but I don’t like things to taste too vinegary which I know sounds weird since this is a pickle recipe!
This recipe has been linked to Frugal Food Thursday, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, My Meatless Monday, Tuesday’s Tasty Tidbits, Weekend Potluck, Hearth and Soul, Bizzy’s Recipe Box. Be sure to visit these blog hops to see more tasty recipes.