Today's recipe is pickled cucumbers. Why do I bring you this recipe when you can easily visit your nearest supermarket and buy a nice bottle of your favorite pickles? All I can say is that after you have done your first pickling, and discovered how easy it is, you would certainly try it again.
How to make Pickled Cucumbers
The process of pickling is easy, but there are a number of things you should know to make sure you do it correctly. Pickling is preserving food in a brine solution. This solution basically comprises of water, salt and vinegar. This recipe calls for a number of ingredients, plus sterile canning jars, and a few weeks or so to allow the process to take place.
I recommend you choose your ingredients carefully. The salt should be fine-grained, with no additives (this could make the liquid cloudy). The best salt to use is sea salt or kosher salt. Distilled white vinegar (5% acidity) is best for pickling. It gives the pickles a sharp and tart flavour and prevents clouding. The vegetables you use should be blemish free, without any moldy parts, and not spoiling.
As for the cucumber, if you want to pickle a whole cucumber, don't use the thick-skinned cucumbers; this is not a big deal if you intend to slice the cucumber the way it is done in our recipe. Next, clean the vegetables thoroughly before using. Now, that you have the perfect ingredients for pickling, you need a number of utensils.
It is important you use nonreactive utensils and equipment for brining. Nonreactive utensils are stainless steel, nonstick-surfaced items, enamelware, and glass. Your nonstick surface items should not have any scratches and the enamelware should not have any chips or cracks. Keep away from utensils that are copper, iron, or brass or contain any amount of these, they could make your pickles taste bad. And definitely don't use any galvanized products.
So that's it, all you need to know about when pickling. Now you are ready to begin pickling. At the end of it all, you will notice that your pickled cucumbers will have a flavor that is totally different from the commercial relishes. This is because at home you can add other ingredients to help enhance the pickle's flavor. For instance, you could add onion, turmeric, and sugar (all that our recipe has). So, are you ready for your first pickle experience? Here is pickled cucumber. Enjoy!
Pickled Cucumbers Recipe
4 medium cucumbers
1 onion, sliced
½ cup salt
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 hot pepper, optional
750 ml vinegar
2 trays ice cubes
Prepare your canning jars according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pour hot water into the jars, fill to the brim and seal. You need to keep the jars and lids hot until you
Wash the cucumbers and cut off both ends of the cucumber. Use a mandoline slicer to cut the cucumbers into thin slices.
Note: A mandoline slicer is the manual instrument with interchangeable blades. It can slice and grate vegetables. It can also cut vegetables in spirals. It is easy to assemble and use. Some care will have to be practiced. It is not safe for children to use as the steel blades are razor sharp.
This instrument really cut the cucumbers into remarkable thin slices. You can cut it lengthwise, in quarters.
Slice the onions.
Place half of the cucumbers in a deep bowl. Add some
onions and salt.
continue layering with the rest of cucumbers, onions and salt
Top with ice. This helps maintain a crispy, firm crunch in the vegetables.
Cover and leave to soak for 24 hours
Drain the cucumbers after 24 hours and squeeze dry.
Add the sugar, turmeric, mustard, 5 spice powder and pepper to the vinegar. Mix well.
Note: We used red pepper flakes.
Pack the cucumbers into the sterilized jars.
Pour the liquid into your filled jars, leaving ¼ inch head space in the jars.
The cucumbers should be submerged in the liquid completely. Leave to soak for 7 days
The pickled cucumbers ready to eat.
- 4 medium cucumbers
- 1 onion sliced
- ½ cup salt
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp 5 spice powder
- 1 hot pepper optional
- 750 ml vinegar
- 2 trays ice cubes
- Prepare your canning jars according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pour hot water into the jars, fill to the brim and seal. You need to keep the jars and lids hot until you need them.
- Wash the cucumbers. Cut off both ends of the cucumber. Cut into slices or lengthwise, in quarters.
- Slice the onion. Place half of the cucumbers in a deep bowl. Add some onions and salt. continue layering with the rest of cucumbers, onions and salt. Top with ice. This helps maintain a crispy, firm crunch in the vegetables.
- Mix well. Note: We used red pepper flakes. Pack the cucumbers into the sterilized jars. Pour the liquid into your filled jars, leaving ¼ inch head space in the jars. The cucumbers should be submerged in the liquid completely. Leave to soak for 7 days.
So that is how you make pickled cucumbers. Pickles are a perfect flavor treat; they can be used as a relish on any sandwich, burger, and even a salad. More recipes to come.
Now that you have enjoyed my pickled Cucumbers post, why not leave a comment. 🙂