Pickled Cucumbers きゅうりの浅漬け

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Pickled Cucumbers | JustOneCookbook.com

Happy 2013!  I hope everyone had a nice holiday with your loved ones and I’m back from my little break.  Despite catching a cold that I am trying to get rid of, I got to spend time with friends that I don’t get to see often and also had a couple of out-of-town guests stay over at my house, which was really nice.

While I need some time to catch up on my work (please give me a few days to respond to your emails), I hope you enjoy this super quick and easy Japanese Pickled Cucumbers.

Pickled Cucumbers | JustOneCookbook.com

Japanese pickles, or we call it Tsukemono (漬物) in Japanese, is a really important part of the Japanese meal.  One or a few kinds of pickles are always served with rice and enjoyed as a garnish or palate cleanser.

Unlike western style pickles, Japanese pickles are considered as “preserved vegetables” as they are not primarily preserved in vinegar.  They are usually preserved in salt (Shiozuke 塩漬け), rice bran (Nukazue 糠漬け), sake lees (Kasuzuke 粕漬け), soy sauce (Shoyuzuke 醤油漬け), vinegar, (Suzuke 酢漬け), and miso (Misozuke 味噌漬け).

Typically cucumber, Daikon (Japanese radish), eggplant, cabbage, Ume (Japanese plum) are used for Japanese pickles.

Pickled Cucumbers | JustOneCookbook.com

Today’s pickles are called Asazuke (浅漬け), literally meaning “shallow pickling”.  The vegetables are pickled only for a short time between 30 minutes to a couple of hours and usually not as salty as other kinds of Tsukemono.  If you don’t like cucumbers, you can also use napa cabbage (hakusai), daikon, and eggplant for Asazuke as well.  I put ginger as seasoning today, but you can also use kombu or chili pepper which are also popular seasoning ingredients.

If you are interested in Japanese pickles, I also have another Pickled Cucumbers recipe and Pickled Turnip with Yuzu recipe.  Have a nice week!

Pickled Cucumbers | JustOneCookbook.com

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Pickled Cucumbers
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 Japanese cucumbers (250 g, 8.8 oz)
  • 1 tsp. salt (5 g = 2% of cucumber weight)
  • ½ - 1 tsp. ginger
You will also need:
  • A large Ziploc bag
  • A heavy object
  1. Rinse the cucumbers and cut both sides of the edge.
  2. Rub the 2 piece of cucumbers against each other until you see the small bubbles. It is to remove the bitterness from the cucumber. Discard the two ends.
  3. Slice the cucumbers.
  4. Peel the ginger and cut into julienne strips.
  5. Put all the ingredients in the Ziploc bag.
  6. Remove the air out and seal completely.
  7. Place a heavy object on top of the cucumbers and refrigerate it for 1-2 hours. Here I sandwiched the Ziploc bag with two plates and then put the mortar on top. I recommend 3 hours at most otherwise it gets too salty. Check the level of saltiness according to your preference. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.



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  1. Orchidea

    Happy New Year to you too! I also got a cold and have been sick during my holiday but I had a great time meeting family and friends. This is a nice and quick recipe, something to definitely try, to complete a Japanese meal as I understand.
    Get well!

  2. This is a easy pickle recipe for cucumbers. Recently I did a Chinese-style cucumber pickle with garlic, sesame oil, soy, sugar, vinegar and enjoyed it too. I will try your method sometime.

  3. Dumpling Love

    Welcome back, Nami! I love eating pickles and small side dishes like this. It was like heaven for me to see these every meal while I was in Japan, especially the daikon! hehe. Thanks for sharing! It’s perfect for the hot weather in Perth!

  4. I didn’t know it would be so simple to make Japanese pickles. And how perfect that these are ready within half an hour or so. And they look so fresh and vibrant. I didn’t know that was how you could remove the bitter juices. I’ve always scored the outer layer by running a fork from one end to the other and the bitter juices escape that way xx

  5. Eha

    Originally coming from Northern Europe pickled cucumbers are only too familiar, but, yes, we do prepare them differently :) ! Love the way you reduce bitterness and really have to try this with ginger which I am not used to using!

  6. Happy New Year to you and your family! Hope you’ll feel better soon and recover from the cold soon. I love pickled cucumbers. Love the flavors in this one. Thanks for sharing and I’ll definitely give these a try.

  7. This certainly looks easy! And I really like that you can make pickles, and then be eating them in a couple of hours. And there are lots of good tips in this post. Definitely something I’ll keep in mind – thanks!

  8. Vivalabbird

    Happy New Year Nami! I caught a cold as well! It’s that time of the season :(

    Looking forward to another year of delicious recipes from you Nami! I will try both types of cucumber pickles for my dinner party on Sunday :)

  9. I am so thrilled to hear that you also do the little trick of removing the bitterness from the cucumbers! Everybody does it here in Bangalore and I thought it doesn’t make any sense as all (we never did it while growing up).

    We love pickled cucumbers and i have never added ginger to it. Will try doing this next time :)

  10. Mmmm… I love the ginger in the recipe. I must try this. :) Welcome back.. hope your cold is gone and Happy New Year!! Can’t wait to see all the beautiful dishes that come out of your kitchen in 2013!

  11. Candice

    Happy New Year, Nami!

    Yum! I love cucumbers! It’s so refreshing. Thanks for the tip about rubbing the ends against each other to prevent bitterness. I’ve had cucumbers in restaurants and always wondered why it’s bitter. At first I thought it’s cause the cucumber didn’t have enough water during the growing process. Did you keep the two ends or discarded after you rubbed it against each other?


  12. Happy new year, Nami! I hope you are feeling better from your cold. Your pickles look so enticing! I’ve made similar ones before and love them. I like your addition of ginger and will try next time. I haven’t seen this method before of removing bitterness from cucumbers…I’ll try that, too. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Happy New Year to you Nami!!!
    I just got back from my break as well and am playing a little catch up with everybody;-)
    I love your simple pickled cucumber recipe- just perfect for healthy eating in January-not that Japanese food isn’t one of the healthier cuisines of the world for all year round;-)
    I look forward to following your cooking adventures in 2013;-)

  14. I love trying out new ways to season and eat cucumbers. I love them with wine vinegar, dill, just salt and pepper and well this way looks quite great, I will try it out!

  15. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    Hmmm lovely – crunchy and refreshing. I didn’t realize there are different kinds of cucumber. We usually have cucumber as condiments and serve it with thai chili and shallots. Hope you’re feeling better.

  16. Ira Rodrigues

    Pickle cucumber is one of all time Fave, the crunch is totally won me!
    I normally make mine with additional chili and i think i shld give it a go your recipe, its new to me.

  17. I always thought Japanese pickles used a little vinegar and have never heard of shallow pickling. It looks so easy and I know the results are delicious. It’s hard to go wrong with pickled cucumbers.

    • Hi Leigh! Yes you use raw eggplant. You can soak chopped eggplant in salt water (like 1 cup water + 1 tsp salt) for 5-10 minutes and squeeze water out before you mix all ingredients together. Hope that helps! :)

  18. Oh yes, most of us in vacation mode. I am more on a long-vacation-don’t-wanna-do-anything kind of mode, LOL! But that is my New Year’s resolution, to post more than last year. This is my kind of treat – simple and not much ingredients. I hope you are having a good week, Nami! :)

  19. If it’s not telepathy… You will never believe me but I have had kyuri no kyuchan today as a side-dish for lunch! OK, it’s not the same, but still… These pickles will be next I will try because I love everything with cucumber, I am addicted to ginger and of course Japanese pickles are never disappointing and your recipes always end up as my staples. I hope you will feel better soon!

  20. This looks very simple to make. Would be so good and refreshing in hot weather. I think I will eat it as a snack even 😀 Hope you have recovered from your flu. Please take care.

  21. donna mikasa

    Kyuri is my favorite vegetable and I prepare kim chi and namasu quite often. Your asazuke looks so refreshing, especially with the slivers of ginger. Hope to try this soon!

  22. Pickles were always on the table at my Grandma’s house, but they were the vinegar kind or sweet & sour (“bread & butter pickles” by name.) This is an interesting preparation! Welcome back, Nami! Hope you get over your cold completely soon.

  23. Diana

    Happy New Year to you too.
    I love japanese pickles anyway I can get them. I remember my mother making pickled cucumber with ginger and lemon. I loved putting them on top of my raw egg & hot rice bowl. yummy
    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to another great recipes you share.

  24. Hi there. Food on Friday: Ginger is open for entries. This looks like a good one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Please do pop back to check out some of the other links. Happy New Year!

  25. This is a simple and very useful recipe Nami and also one a friend of mine has been looking for . I am looking forward to some more wonderful Nami inspired things from you. Hope you are better now …

  26. ご飯が進みそうな漬物。風邪引いたときに、ご飯とこれだけでも癒されるなあ。きれいな写真で、インストトラクションもわかりやすいです。いただきま~す。

  27. This is a fun, and easy recipe! I am a snack girl, I guess because I travel for my job and I am always looking for that fun snack to pass the time:-) This sounds delicious, Hugs, Terra

  28. Nami, wonderful way to prepare a delicious and refreshing cucumber side dish – love it! We really enjoy eating ginger in combination with cucumbers (I often put some grated ginger in my “Asian” style salad dressings) and I will have to try this version of pickling fresh cucumbers, for sure!

  29. Dear Nami,

    I love a cold picked cucumber salad especially in summer now. Funny I have not had to rub the cucumber ends as I remember that is what most cooks do when preparing cucumber in Malaysia when I was growing up.

    • Hi April! Thank you for catching my error! Believe it or not, both words sound similar to me when I say them with Japanese pronunciation… LOL…or maybe just me! Thanks!

  30. Sharon Tenney

    I have a quick question — are these the kinds of pickled cucumbers like they sell that are whole cucumbers during the hot summers in Japan? I am looking for that kind of recipe for having a whole pickled cucumber on a stick to eat while walking around.

    Thanks so much! :)

  31. I love cucumbers and I eat them as is but this will be a good addition to my office lunches. I have lots of ginger at home so I think I will make this soon. Thank you for this, Nami!