It’s been raining a lot here in Hawaii, which means the farm has been exploding with cucumbers. With the excess of cucumbers arriving at our house, Mom decided she’d spend the weekend making different kinds of tsukemono (Japanese pickles). This cucumber tsukemono recipe features mustard seed and celery seed for a subtle blast of flavor. The salting process makes these wonderfully crunchy that’ll have you emptying out this side dish quickly.
What’s great about cucumber tsukemono is that cucumbers can be really cheap especially when it’s been raining. Cucumbers grow incredibly fast during rainy days so don’t be surprised if you have the chance to get several all at once. This is also great to bring to a friend’s house for a party. It’s a delicious appetizer or snack that fits well with greasy foods like chips or pizza.
Aloha with love,
- 3 lbs cucumbers
- ¼ c sea salt
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 1 c vinegar
- ½ c water
- 1⅔ c sugar
- 1 tbsp mustard seed
- 1 medium sweet round onion
- 1¼ tsp celery seed
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Slice sweet onion to ⅓ in thickness. Slice cucumbers to ½ in thickness. Sprinkle cucumbers with sea salt and mix thoroughly. Leave at room temperature for 3 hours.After 3 hours, rinse all of the cucumbers and use your hands to squeeze out the excess water. The more water you can squeeze out, the better. Drain cucumbers in a colander while you prepare the sauce.
- On a wide pan add the cooking oil and adjust the temperature to high. Add vinegar, water, sugar, and mustard seed. Once this begins to boil, turn off the heat and stir in the sliced onions, celery seed, and paprika.
- Wait for 2 minutes to allow the sauce to cool slightly. Transfer cucumbers from the colander to a large bowl. Pour the sauce onto the cucumbers. Let it cool at room temperature then store in the fridge. Best eaten when cold.
- It’s better to have more cucumbers in order to make plenty all at once since the wait time for salting the pickles is so long.
- Easily lasts in the fridge for several weeks.
- Always use clean utensils when serving the pickles. Contaminated utensils will make the pickled vegetables spoil quickly.