Easy Japanese Recipes

Pickled Cucumbers きゅうりの浅漬け

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.



Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Appetizers, Healthy Recipes, Quick & Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Tofu & Eggs, Vegetarian

Leave a Comment

six + = 15

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) January 7, 2013, 1:41 pm

    I love cucumbers, these look so refreshing!

  • Orchidea January 7, 2013, 2:06 pm

    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!

  • Sylvia@Peaches and Donuts January 7, 2013, 2:07 pm

    We pickle cucumbers all the time but with vinegar. However, I will have to try it your way soon! Hope you feel much better real soon, Nami!

  • Yelena January 7, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Nami, I am making pickled red cabbage today-) How funny it is?-)) Your cucumbers look very crunchy. Tasty appetizer!

  • Stephanie January 7, 2013, 2:10 pm

    I’m intrigued as to how rubbing the cucumbers together removes the bitterness.. I’ll have to try that next time.

    I hope you feel better!

  • yummychunklet January 7, 2013, 2:13 pm

    How green and delicious!

  • tigerfish January 7, 2013, 2:32 pm

    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.

  • Rhonda (@diningalone) January 7, 2013, 2:50 pm

    I have a cold also, it sucks :( These pickles look super tasty, I love anything pickled but have never seen it done this way.

  • Belinda @zomppa January 7, 2013, 3:18 pm

    Hope you feel 100% soon! These look ore delicately flavored than usual vinegar-based ones.

  • amelia from z tasty life January 7, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Nami: I absolutely love these! they are so refreshing in between courses of a meal, or just a snack, or as side, or in a sandwich.

  • albertocook January 7, 2013, 3:38 pm

    I like this

  • Eri January 7, 2013, 4:12 pm

    Happy New year my sweet Nami!

  • Ashley - baker by nature January 7, 2013, 4:25 pm

    So happy you’re back! Hopefully you’ll kick that cold ASAP! Pickled cucumbers are the best :-)

  • Dumpling Love January 7, 2013, 4:25 pm

    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!

  • Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) January 7, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Pickled cucumbers are so good. I scratch my head and wonder why I’ve never tried to make them before. I’d eat the entire batch in just a few minutes–seriously!

  • Juliana January 7, 2013, 5:08 pm

    Love the simplicity of this cucumber dish…reminds me of my mom’s recipe.
    Happy 2013 and have a great week ahead Nami!

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen January 7, 2013, 5:31 pm

    I love these pickles – they’re so quick to make and of course, cucumbers are one of my favorite sides. Thanks for sharing. This is perfect for healthier eating in the New Year, Nami!

  • Esther January 7, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Happy new year Nami! Tis is nice and simple, perfect after all those feasting! I love pickled cucumbers, with a bit of sesame oil and vinegar.

  • Hotly Spiced January 7, 2013, 6:14 pm

    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

  • Eha January 7, 2013, 6:35 pm

    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!

    • Nami January 12, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Thank you Eha! Hope you will like ginger addition! :)

  • Amy Tong January 7, 2013, 6:47 pm

    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.

  • Nic@diningwithastud January 7, 2013, 6:55 pm

    Oh I love pickled cucumbers! I hope you feel better soon Nami :)

  • Chef and Sommelier January 7, 2013, 7:02 pm

    Hi Nami! Happy New Year and hope you have a speedy recovery.

    This recipe sounds simple and refreshing. Will give it a go!

  • john@kitchenriffs January 7, 2013, 7:08 pm

    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!

  • The Café Sucré Farine January 7, 2013, 7:32 pm

    Nami, these sounds delicious and look so fresh and pretty too.

  • Vivalabbird January 7, 2013, 7:55 pm

    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 :)

    • Kristi Rimkus January 7, 2013, 8:02 pm

      I love the ginger in this recipe. It truly does look refreshing.

    • Nami January 11, 2013, 9:58 am

      Happy New Year Vivi! Hope you and guests will enjoy the pickles! :) Get well soon!

  • Holly January 7, 2013, 9:15 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I am looking forward to more tsukemono recipes.

    • Nami January 11, 2013, 10:07 am

      You are welcome! Happy New Year Holly!

  • Baby Sumo January 7, 2013, 9:53 pm

    Ah we love pickled Japanese cucumbers… our way of making it is slightly different.

  • Raymund January 7, 2013, 10:28 pm

    I love nibbling on those, do also have the how to for pickled ginger?
    Thanks in advance

  • chinmayie @ love food eat January 7, 2013, 11:08 pm

    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 :)

  • Mich Piece of Cake January 7, 2013, 11:25 pm

    Hi Nami, I have enjoyed this at Japanese restaurants, didn’t know it was that easy!

  • Choc Chip Uru January 8, 2013, 12:17 am

    What a perfect crunchy flavoursome side :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Ramona January 8, 2013, 2:56 am

    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!

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade January 8, 2013, 3:21 am

    I had no idea they were so easy to pickle. Thank you for sharing Nami! :)

  • Amy (Savory Moments) January 8, 2013, 3:49 am

    These look so good – I imagine that they stay nice and crisp this way, too!

  • starmonkey3 January 8, 2013, 5:13 am

    Well that’s simple enough! :) Must give it a try!

    • Nami January 13, 2013, 12:41 pm

      Thank you! Hope you like it! :)

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover January 8, 2013, 6:24 am

    We love pickled cucumbers too, one of the side dish i will prepare when I cook braised minced meat rice. Your recipe sound simple too.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today January 8, 2013, 6:27 am

    I’m glad you’re back :) I like polish pickled cucumbers a lot, I need to try Japanese version as well.

  • dassana January 8, 2013, 6:58 am

    happy new year nami. we pickle cucumber in vinegar. yours is an easy and simple recipe, will try out your version.

  • Candice January 8, 2013, 7:35 am

    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?


    • Nami January 11, 2013, 10:15 am

      Happy New Year Candice! That is a very typical method we do in Japan. Yes, you discard the two ends.

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist January 8, 2013, 8:37 am

    I’m glad you are back!! And these are exactly what I want right now. Something healthy and tasty!

  • Hannah January 8, 2013, 10:46 am

    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!

  • Rosa January 8, 2013, 10:49 am

    Deliciously crunchy and gingery! Such pickles are addictive.



  • Patty January 8, 2013, 10:56 am

    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;-)

  • Kankana January 8, 2013, 11:48 am

    I love pickled cucumber in sandwiches. Never tried making at home though!

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) January 8, 2013, 1:14 pm

    I love reading about new ways to prepare food on your blog that I wouldn’t have thought of before! I thought all pickles were just vinegar-soaked. Awesome recipe :)

  • Natalie January 8, 2013, 4:54 pm

    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!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking January 8, 2013, 4:55 pm

    I love cucumbers, and these look very delicious. Hope you feel better soon!!!! xo

  • Linda | The Urban Mrs January 8, 2013, 5:11 pm

    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.

  • Ira Rodrigues January 8, 2013, 5:53 pm

    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.

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce January 8, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Happy New Year Nami, hope you enjoy your break…!!!

  • Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings January 8, 2013, 8:30 pm

    So simple but so great tasting. I just recently started liking pickled stuff (didn’t use to; not sure why). I mean I didn’t hate them, I just never thought about them. Only until a few years ago the I started to REALLY like the flavour. Good recipe :)

  • mjskit January 8, 2013, 8:32 pm

    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.

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpice January 8, 2013, 9:13 pm

    Yummy! Pickled cucumbers! I can munch on a big plate of this. The fresh ginger adds really nice touch to it. Hope you get over your cold real soon, Nami.

  • daphne January 9, 2013, 12:03 am

    I didn’t realise rubbing it together will remove bitterness. That’s a quick and simple tip!!

  • Ella-Home Cooking Adventure January 9, 2013, 5:31 am

    I love pickled cucumbers, but still haven’t tried the ones pickled with ginger. My husband will love these:)

  • Keila January 9, 2013, 5:40 am

    Looking forward to your next post, I don’t like cucumbers so I better skip this one.

  • Minnie@thelady8home January 9, 2013, 5:43 am

    Such a refreshing recipe Nami. But then there is little you that is not tempting. Lovely!

  • Jen @ Savory Simple January 9, 2013, 6:54 am

    What a refreshing recipe. I really love pickled cucumbers.

  • Leigh January 9, 2013, 7:13 am

    Happy New Year. If you use eggplant instead do you use it raw?


    • Nami January 11, 2013, 10:25 am

      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! :)

  • wok with ray January 9, 2013, 8:46 am

    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! :)

  • Sissi January 9, 2013, 10:52 am

    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!

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz January 9, 2013, 11:07 am

    A quick not to tangy pickle is up my alley. And a more bland veggie like a cucumber is perfect to use. Very refreshing. Hope the cold is all gone soon.

  • MaryMoh January 9, 2013, 12:19 pm

    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 :D Hope you have recovered from your flu. Please take care.

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 9, 2013, 1:39 pm

    Interesting tip about rubbing the 2 piece of cucumbers against each other. I’ve never heard of that before.

    • Nami January 10, 2013, 12:01 am

      It’s very common method in Japan and I thought it’s interesting how we even started doing it long looooong time ago…. :)

  • donna mikasa January 9, 2013, 3:08 pm

    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!

    • Nami January 11, 2013, 10:39 am

      Thank you Donna! Me too, kyuri and daikon’s crunch is the best. :) Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  • Kimby January 9, 2013, 3:30 pm

    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.

  • PolaM January 9, 2013, 4:23 pm

    Tris recipe cold rival my go to sugar and vinegar for cucumbers!

  • Liz January 9, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Oooh, I love cucumbers…and this pickled version with the ginger sounds wonderful! Glad you enjoyed your break, my friend!!!

  • Sophia January 9, 2013, 5:25 pm

    Oooh how refreshing! I actually had a dish a lot like this just a night ago! Happy 2013, Nami! :)

  • Diana January 9, 2013, 8:55 pm

    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.

    • Nami January 12, 2013, 1:54 pm

      Hi Diana! Ohh lemon! I need to try that next time! :) Thank you for your kind comment!

  • Katerina January 10, 2013, 8:37 am

    Happy New Year Nami! Sorry about your cold, I wish to you speedy recovery! The cucumbers are so good and look very appetizing!

  • Carole January 10, 2013, 11:14 am

    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!

  • Sandra January 10, 2013, 11:26 am

    These sound good after all of the heavy eating last month.

  • My Kitchen Stories January 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

    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 …

  • Carolyn Jung January 10, 2013, 9:17 pm

    Of all the cucumbers around, Japanese ones are my favorite. They are super crunchy through and through. And the pickled version is something I just can’t get enough of.

  • Food Jaunts January 11, 2013, 9:41 am

    Oh this sounds like a perfect simple side. Sometimes I struggle and get into a frozen veggie rut with my dishes. I like how easy this is to get dinner on the table.

  • Nazneen | Coffee and Crumpets January 11, 2013, 3:54 pm

    Love cucumbers and especially salted ones. These look fabulous.


  • nipponnin January 11, 2013, 7:58 pm


  • Terra January 12, 2013, 9:39 pm

    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

  • dishesfrommykitchen January 13, 2013, 7:30 am

    My family loves this a lot… this is refreshing and yumm !!!

  • Andrea January 16, 2013, 1:49 am

    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!

  • ChopinandMysaucepan January 17, 2013, 1:25 pm

    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.

  • April January 27, 2013, 10:48 pm

    I think you mean “mortar,” not “motor.”

    Thanks for this simple recipe!

    • Nami January 27, 2013, 11:41 pm

      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!

  • Lynna January 27, 2013, 11:33 pm

    Oh! I simply LOVE eatin pickled cucumbers! Thanks for this! :)

  • Frank McGovern March 11, 2013, 8:28 pm

    I am a big fan of Japanese pickles and am especially grateful for the quick pickles recipes.

    • Nami March 12, 2013, 12:41 am

      Hi Frank! Thank you for your kind comment. Hope you enjoy this recipe! :)

  • Sharon Tenney January 31, 2014, 4:07 pm

    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! :)

    • Nami January 31, 2014, 9:39 pm

      Hi Sharon! Yes, there are some variations of pickled cucumbers, but this is similar to one you probably tried. :)

  • Cat March 4, 2015, 5:01 pm

    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!

    • Nami March 4, 2015, 8:22 pm

      Hi Cat! I hope you enjoy this recipe! :)