Soy-Pickled Cucumber

Soy-Pickled Cucumber Slices

Soy-Pickled Cucumber slices are crisp, just a little salty, and pleasantly tangy. They make a great snack as well as a side dish at meals.

I have previously posted recipes for Cucumber side dishes, notably a Japanese Cucumber Salad and a Sesame Cucumber Salad. Both of those are examples of ‘quick-pickles’ while the variety pictured above requires at least three days pickling time. It is also a much richer, and rustic preparation than the other two delicate specialties.

By the way, the thin red threads on top of the pickle slices shown above are Korean Chili Threads which I added as a little garnish. I am not specifically recommending these, especially, rather I just want to point out that they are supposed to be there and didn’t just fall, or crawl, on to my dish

Ingredient Notes

I have used Seedless English Cucumber here, but mini-cucumbers would be good too, if you don’t mind smaller slices. I have cut mine about a half centimeter thick, but you may prefer to make yours thinner than this if you use the English variety as the skin can sometimes be a bit tough.

Rice Vinegar is recommended here, especially to preserve the Eastern spirt of this pickle. You can however use White Vinegar, if you like, but this will produce a much sharper result.

The Method

Macerating Cucumber Slices with Salt

First, toss the slices with about a tablespoon of coarse (non-iodized) salt and leave them to macerate for about an hour or so. Use Pickling Salt if you have it.

Marinating Cucumber with Ginger and Sesame Seeds

Once the slices are nicely softened, rinse them well and squeeze gently so as to remove as much liquid as possible without crushing them. Next, toss in a tablespoon or so each of lightly toasted sesame seeds and finely slivered fresh ginger. Let sit for another hour to marinate.

A jar of Soy-Pickled Cucumber

Finally, Put the marinated slices, along with the ginger and seeds, into a suitable jar and pour over the vinegar, say sauce and rice wine. Shake to mix, then leave the jar to sit in a cool place for at least three days before using.

If you like, you can vary the ratio of liquids in the pickling medium and, if desired, add a little sugar to taste. One or two dried chilies may suit your palate as well…

Your Recipe Card:

Soy-Pickled Cucumber Recipe

Soy-Pickled Cucumber slices are crisp, just a little salty, and pleasantly tangy. They make a great snack as well as a side dish at meals.
Course: Accompaniment, Snack
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Cucumber, Ginger, Rice Wine, Soy Sauce, White Vinegar
Author: John Thompson


  • 2 Cups thick Cucumber slices
  • 1 Tbsp. Coarse Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh Ginger shreds
  • 1 Cup Vinegar
  • 2/3 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Rice Wine


  • Mix the salt in to the Cucumber slices and macerate for an hour or so.
  • Squeeze the slices to remove as much juice as possible then toss them with the ginger slivers and sesame seeds. Marinate for a further hour.
  • Put the slices and all the remaining ingredients in a jar, shake, and let sit in a cool place to pickle for at least three days.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!