Quick lemon and cucumber pickle recipe. These cucumber pickles are really delicious. The right balance of sweetness, tanginess and the crunchiness is so refreshing and invigorating!
Cucumber pickles are quite popular in Korea. You can often see them served at a pizza or pasta restaurant (mostly western style restaurants). At these place, as you would know, serving kimchi is considered somewhat awkward, so they often serve cucumber pickles instead.
Though I find that these cucumber pickles can be hit or miss. Some fast food restaurants just serve store bought pickles while others serve their store made pickles. I definitely prefer “their own made” versions. They taste more natural without being overly sweet and/or sour.
Koreans love adding some lemon with cucumber pickles too. I do think they go well wonderfully together. Lemon adds a nice fragrance and tanginess.
I typically serve my pickles with homemade pizza, pasta and also buttery fried rice. But they will also go well with hot dogs and sandwiches too. It’s very versatile and the best part is it’s very easy and quick to make!
Hope you give this a try soon!
P.S. Here are my other pickling recipes. So don’t forget to check them out! Pickled daikon and Korean pickled peppers
Ingredients for Lemon and Cucumber Pickles
- 1 kg / 2.2 pounds cucumber, I used Lebanese cucumber but you can use other cucumbers that are suitable for pickling.
- 3 Tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
Cucumber Pickle Brine
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp pickling spice (*see note)
- 10g / 0.35 ounces ginger, thinly sliced
- 5g / 0.17 ounces garlic, thinly sliced
*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml
How to Make Cucumber Pickles
1. Wash the cucumbers under running water. Scrub the cucumber skin thoroughly. Cut off both ends of the cucumber. Unless you’re using baby cucumbers, chop the cucumber into small thumb size pieces (about 4 cm / 1.5 inch length) then put them into a mixing bowl.
Add the coarse sea salt and let it sit for 30 mins to drain some water out. During this time, turn the cucumber around a few times. After 30 mins, brush off residual salt from the cucumbers then put them into a clean sterile jar. Add the sliced lemon into the jar.
2. Combine the brine ingredients in a saucepan and boil over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (4 to 5 mins). Whisk occasionally.
3. Pour the pickle brine into the jar until the jar is full. Close the lid. Leave at room temperature for 3 hrs then move it to the fridge. Start eating from day 3. (You can start eating from day 1 but it becomes more flavorful from day 3.) The pickles can last for about 3 weeks in the fridge.
I used store bought pickling spice in the recipe, but you can combine these spices: mustard seeds, black peppercorns, dill seeds, allspice whole, to make a homemade pickling spice.