June 21, 2010

These sweet/tart quick-pickles are a perky little accompaniment to grilled meat or fish, salads, sandwiches or a big ole burger. Wherever you like cucumbers, really. In this version, sweet and spicy notes rule the brine and the salt is minimal. With the chiles removed, I think they would be a hit with kids.

This recipe is also a perfect opportunity to brush up on knife skills. This classic beauty is known as a matchstick. First slice the cucumber into rounds crosswise then slice the rounds lengthwise. The matchstick cut does very nicely by radishes as well.

Once all your veggies are cut up, you have only to dump the brine on them and wait until they are cooled. In thirty minutes the relish is ready to eat and, as an added bonus, it will improve with age. Enjoy.


1 medium sized English cucumber, cut into matchsticks (2-2 1/2 cups)

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into tiny matchsticks

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup rice vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar)

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup brown or white sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 small dried chiles (optional)

  • In a small sauce pan, mix brine ingredients; vinegar, water, sugar, salt and chiles.
  • Bring brine to a boil and stir to fully dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from flame.
  • Carefully toss cucumber, shallot, ginger, garlic in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  • Pour slightly cooled brine over and mix gently.
  • Press down on vegetables lightly to cover with brine but don’t worry if it doesn’t cover. Vegetables will soften, let off water and be covered in liquid after sitting a bit.
  • Store in fridge up to one week.

One comment

  1. A great and refreshing summer recipe! And your directions for matchstick cutting really helped-thank you!

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