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cucumber salad / quick pickle


This quick pickle has become an awesomely flexible - whatever you have in your fridge - refreshing crispy bite used regularly as a side dish and sandwich pickle. Think spicy herbed kind-of bread-and-butter quick pickle.

  • almost any herb works or you don't have to use any at all.

  • add some ginger or garlic if you have it, Thai chilis, habaneros, or ghost peppers.

We eat these pickles with everything. lamb meatballs. turkey sandwiches. grilled chicken. roasted eggplant. they rule. the end.

You can mix and match however you like as long as you keep the base the same: water - sugar - white vinegar

shout out to the great Jam Sanichat - chef and owner of Thai Fresh (Austin, TX) - for inspiring this epic nosh. I was lucky enough to attend a handful of her cooking classes, held in the restaurant during working hours, and they I learned the confidence to cook homemade Thai food and I walked away with her amazing cookbook. get some of this in your life.

thick sandwich pickle




  • 1/3 CUP white vinegar

  • 1/3 CUP white sugar

  • 1/2 CUP water

  • 1 TSP salt


  • 5 pickling/Kirby cucumbers, or 1 English cucumber (or any cucumber that you have - peel if necessary)

  • 1/2 CUP chopped cilantro leaves + stems (see notes on recipe below for recommendations on fresh herbs)

  • 1/2 CUP chopped Thai basil

  • 3-4 TBSP whole coriander seeds (or more if you love it like us)

  • optional: 1 thinly sliced shallot or 1/4 red onion, sliced fresh garlic, sliced smashed ginger

  • highly recommended: 2 habanero peppers (or 1 whole Serrano pepper, 1/2 ghost pepper, 1-2 whole jalapeños),


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring all of the dressing ingredients to a boil. Whisk until all sugar + salt is dissolved. Once dissolved, take off the heat and let it hang out while you prep the rest of the salad. *if you're using a larger cucumber, you might have to double the dressing.

  2. Peel skin of cucumber if using a type of cucumber with waxy skin. *cue lazy move* use English/kirby cucumber.

  3. Pull out a mason jar to use to mix + hold all of your ingredients.

  4. Half the cucumber and slice thinly. *cue lazy move* or, don't half it and just slice the whole thing into thin slices. Add sliced cucumbers into the jar. *if you're making sandwich pickle things, remember to go for a thicker slice here so the cuc holds it's crunch over time.

  5. Slice the spicy pepper of your choosing and if you're adding shallot, ginger, herbs, or garlic, slice, chop, and mince the other ingredients for the salad. Add all of these ingredients into the jar.

  6. Pour the warm dressing over all ingredients in the jar - put on the top and shake. Let it cool on the counter for 15 minutes then move to the refrigerator for at least another hour. we recommend a few hours to really get that pickle flavor.

//notes on the recipe// if you're making this as a one time dish, slice those cucumbers very thin and use all of the fresh ingredients! herbs - shallots - ginger - radishes - you can get as creative as you want!

if you're making this as a pickle to hang out in the fridge for a few weeks and eat on top of your sandwiches, we recommend a thicker cut to keep the crunch and little to no fresh herbs (like the photo above - the pickles will hold longer in the fridge, the herbs will go bad after about a week). I almost always end up doubling to tripling the dressing because we use English cucumbers which are muuuch larger than the recipe's pickling cucumbers.

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