Thai Cucumber Pickles

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So first things first, these pickles ain’t yo grandmammy’s pickles. They’re not dill. They’re not sweet. They’re not bread n’ butter. But they are delicious. They’re a combo of delicate cucumbers right next to serrano peppers that just might kick you in the mouth if you insult them.

Several months ago, while I wiled away my summer in Denver, I took a few classes at a skill-swapping center and one of those classes was on how to make pickles. Though we didn’t go over the hot canning method, we did go over things like pickling salts and recipes. Of all the pickles we made that night, this kind is the favorite in my household. The recipe below is a small tweak from Chef Julie Fenn‘s adaptation from The Joy of Pickling original. It yields one 12 oz wide mouth Ball jar of pickles.

These pickles are “quick pickles,” which means, you make them quickly and you don’t have to wait a month to eat them. They’ll be ready to go the next day. It also means, they need to live in your fridge from day one and they’ll last about a month.

So what do you do with pickles like this? Ohhhhh so many things. Picture this: bit sized toasted rye with a soft cheese and pickle on top OR a fresh garden salad with greens, peppers, nuts, feta, and these pickles OR inside of your favorite veggie wrap OR on top of hummus. So many choices. Mmmmmm.

What You Need

  • 3/8 c rice (or white) vinegar
  • 3/8 c water
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pickling salt (fine sea salt w/o iodine)
  • 1 ½ cups cucumbers, sliced nearly paper thin
  • ½ tsp fresh serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 16 Asian chili threads

What You Do

  1. Start prepping your brine (a.k.a. the pickling liquid) by bringing the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to boil in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir constantly to keep the sugar from burning.
  2. Stir until both the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
  3. Remove your brine from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, make an ice bath for it. You don’t want to pour your brine into the jar when it’s still hot because it will cook the vegetables and soften them.
  4. Slice the cucumbers into 1/6″ rounds. If you have a mandolin, this would be a good time to use it.
  5. Do the same with the shallot.
  6. Seed, then mince the pepper.
  7. Pack everything into the jar, including the Asian chili threads, making a pickle parfait.
  8. Pour the room temperature liquid over the pickles, cover the jar with a non-reactive lid and refrigerate at least one day before serving.
  9. Keeps 2-3 weeks refrigerated.
slowly bring your brine to a boil, stirring constantly to ensure the sugar doesn't burn

slowly bring your brine to a boil, stirring constantly to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn

 

prep your cucumber, shallot, and pepper

prep your cucumber, shallot, and pepper

 

pack your veg into the jar

pack your veg into the jar

 

after the brine cools to room temperature, pour it into the packed jar

after the brine cools to room temperature, pour it into the packed jar

 

voila! quick pickles are ready for the fridge and will be ready for you to eat tomorrow.

voila! quick pickles are ready for the fridge and will be ready for you to eat tomorrow.

 

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