A confession: I love cucumbers. I grew up eating pickled and fermented cucumbers. I think I could eat my weight in cucumbers, but I think I’d also have to go to the bathroom a lot.
Anyway, cucumbers have been in at the farmers’ market a few weeks ago (yes, that early) and the truth is, they go bad quickly, so pickling them helps keep them crisp and fresh for longer. I’m not quite ready for traditional dill pickles, but I have been perfecting my refrigerator pickle recipe.
You could call it Asian-style pickle, with sesame oil and sesame seed, and it is fairly light in flavor compared to bread and butter pickles. I highly recommend use of a mandoline, but slicing the cucumbers and other vegetables thinly should be fine too. There are actually two recipes, one that is mostly sesame-flavored, and the other a spicier cucumber pickle. If cucumbers are not in season yet, you can use long greenhouse cucumbers or baby cucumbers.
- 2 English cucumbers or 4-5 pickling kirby style cucumbers, thinly sliced (Four Leaf Farm)
- 2-3 carrots, thinly sliced (Maple Springs Farm)
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (Brinkley Farm)
- 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp dark (or roasted) sesame seed oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp sugar, preferrably turbinado
- 1 TB roasted sesame seeds
Combine all and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before serving.
- 1 English cucumber or 4 pickling kirby cucumbers (Four Leaf Farm)
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp Korean chili pepper or red pepper flakes
- pinch or two of salt
Mix all and refrigerate overnight.
- spring rolls
- with noodles, 2 ways:
- use the brine of sesame cucumber pickles, dilute it a bit and add a hard boiled egg (this is very similar to Korean cold noodles- naeng myun)
- use in place of standard cucumbers in cold noodles with peanut sauce (the pickles are a nice contrast to the creaminess of peanut sauce).