Pickled Cucumbers

A recipe for the best of pickled cucumbers.

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Makes 1.5 litres (50 fl oz/6 cups)


1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) cucumbers
(see Cook’s note), halved
lengthways, seeds scooped
out and thickly sliced
60 g (2 oz/ ¼ cup) salt
55 g (2 oz/ ¼ cup) caster
(superfine) sugar
375 ml (12 ½ fl oz/1½cups)
apple-cider vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons black or white
red bird’s eye chillies

Put the cucumber into a large heatproof, non-reactive bowl.
Scatter with the salt, then pour over 1.5 litres (50 fl oz/ 6 cups) of boiling water. Weight down with a plate, keeping the cucumber submerged in the water. Leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Drain the cucumber and rinse well under cold water.
Drain again.

Combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a large saucepan
and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the cucumber. Leave to stand for 2 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cucumber into warm sterilised jars.
Drop 2 whole chillies into each jar and cover with the hot vinegar mixture. Seal immediately.

Stand the jars on a wire rack or trivet in the base of a deep pot.
Fill the pot with boiling water to cover the jars by at least 3 cm (1. in). Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the jars to a wooden board and leave to cool. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. Refrigerate after opening.


If your cucumbers have grown large and mature in your garden, then this recipe is a great one to make use of them – just peel off their tough skins.

This is an edited extract from The Produce Companion by Merdith Kirton & Mandy Sincliar published by Hardie Grant Books $49.95
and is available in stores nationally. Available Now!