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Japanese pickled cucumbers with ginger and chili side view

Japanese Pickled Cucumber with Ginger (Tsukemono)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 portions 1x


How to make crunchy, refreshing Japanese cucumber pickles (tsukemono) with a ginger and chili kick. 


  • 20g Fresh ginger (approx 2 inch piece)
  • 1 Bird's eye chilli
  • 3 Japanese / Persian Cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber)
  • 1 + 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sushi Vinegar OR Rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • White sesame seeds to garnish


  1. First, peel the skin off the ginger and cut into thin strips. 
    cutting fresh ginger into slices
  2. Deseed the chili and cut into thin slices. 
    Cutting dry chili into slices
  3. Wash the cucumber and sprinkle a chopping board with 1 tsp of salt. Roll the cucumber in the salt.
    Rolling cucumber in salt
  4. Wash off the salt and dry the cucumber. (If you're using English cucumber, cut it in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.)
  5. Smash the cucumber with something sturdy like a rolling pin. Crush/break it slightly, but not too much. This helps the cucumber absorb more flavour and adds more interesting textures to your pickles.
    Smashing cucumber with heavy based tankard
  6. Roughly cut the cucumber into bitesize chunks.
    Slicing cucumber
  7. Place the cucumber in a ziplock back with your cut ginger and chilli, then add 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil.
    Adding cucumber and condiments to a ziplock bag
  8. Massage the ingredients into the cucumber to evenly distribute them.
    massaging the pickles in the ziplock bag
  9. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. (Best taste is after 1 day.)
  10. Sprinkle with sesame seeds upon serving.
    Japanese pickled cucumbers with ginger and chili side view
  11. Enjoy!
    Japanese pickled cucumbers with ginger and chili


For best taste and texture, eat within 3 days.

If you don't like spicy food you can leave out the chilli.

This recipe is best made with Japanese or Persian cucumbers that contain less water. If you're using English cucumbers, it's better to deseed them as stated in the instructions.

  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Marinating Time: 1+ hours
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Pickling
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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