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Pickled Cucumber in 20 Minutes

Whether you are having them on a burger, as a side or adding to a salad these quick 20 minute pickled cucumber will become a firm favourite.

Portrait image of quick pickled cucumber ribbons served in a white bowl

Homemade Quick Pickles.

Most of my foods that I am infatuated with I have loved for a very long time. Pickles are different and became one of my main foodie squeezes after my move to Hungary.

Of course, growing up in the UK I was exposed to pickled vegetables. Onions, beetroot and eggs were all really common, pickled cucumber, not so much!

They were things served on the side of a ploughman’s and not everyday food.

Here in Hungary, they are served with everything!

Since I arrived in 2008 I have not been into a single Hungarian restaurant that does not have them on the menu.

Pickles here tend to be “fermented” rather than quick pickled like this cucumber recipe.

Like my quick pickled daikon, these have a “Chinese” lean to the pickle rather than a European slant.

They will be good to eat after 15 minutes and will last for up to 2 hours.

After that they go a bit soft and squidgy.

The longer you leave them the more pronounced the pickle flavour becomes.

The key to this recipe is to remove the seeds, these are mainly water. Leaving them in the cucumber dilutes the pickled flavour.

Serving Suggestions.

I serve pickles with so many dishes. Whether it is as a side to something fatty like the pork belly pictured above or just added to the top of a burger, I love em.

They are also great at cutting through sweetness and they would be just as good with my teriyaki salmon.

They perform just as well at offering a silky smooth sharpness against crisp foods, making them perfect with stuff like salt and pepper squid.

Here in Hungary, they are served with EVERYTHING.

You will see people with countless bowls of pickles on their table. It does not matter if they are tucking into goulash or chicken paprikash.

Me, well just gimme a big old bowl of these quick pickled cucumber and leave me alone!

Square image of quick pickled cucumber ribbons served in a white bowl
Yield: 2 Servings

Quick Pickled Cucumber Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These quick and simple pickled cucumber ribbons have a bit of an Asian influence but they are delicious served with so many dishes!


  • 1 Cucumber
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Water
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Rice Wine
  • 25ml (1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp) White Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt


  1. Cut the ends off the cucumber then cut in half lengthways.
  2. Scoop out the seeds of the cucumber using a spoon.
  3. Cut the cucumber into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandolin and place them in a bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to another bowl and whisk until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  5. Pour over the cucumber and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1169mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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