Pickled Cucumbers From China


Pickled veggies are known to most Asians. However, what they’ve come to symbolize has evolved through time, at least in Chinese eyes.

Since pickles contain no oil, fat, or yóu Shui, they were once considered a poor man’s supper. On the other hand, pickled vegetables have been elevated to a palate-cleanser in China, where most meals are laden with oil and fat.

Pickled vegetables can also be an appetite stimulant if someone feels under the weather. It doesn’t seem like much has changed, does it?


  • 3 English/hothouse cucumbers
  • 3 tsp. of sugar (divided)
  • 1½ tsp. of salt (divided)
  • 1 tbsp. of Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. of light soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. of dark soy sauce
  • 2 pcs. of bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic (smashed)
  • 3 pcs. of dried chili peppers (de-seeded)


  1. The cucumbers need to be rinsed and then patted dry. Cut each cucumber into four equal sections by snipping off the bottom and the top. Each part should be divided into six equal-sized pieces. Mix in 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt, then transfer to a bowl. Toss, cover, and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Afterward, you’ll also need 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar; 1/2 teaspoon of salt; 1 tablespoon black vinegar; 2 tablespoons light soy sauce; 1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce; 2 bay leaves; 4 cloves garlic; and the chili pepper. Make the sauce at the same time. Simmer for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  3. Remove the cucumbers from the liquid after they’ve been marinating for an hour in the fridge. Drain at least 1/4 cup of liquid from the pan. Refrigerate covered for at least eight hours before serving. Cucumbers and congee should be ready to eat the following day!
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