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Hot & Salt Pickle

This cucumber pickle recipe is a Jewish classic, specifically among the Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe. Food was hard to come by and the winters were long and bitterly cold, this is where pickling came in for preserving produce to enjoy throughout the year. Cucumber was cheap, making it the ideal candidate for fermenting in a salt brine. Even after moving away to sunnier climes, the cucumber pickle remained popular with the Jewish diaspora and found its way into Jewish delis as a palette cleanser. The hot pickle recipe brings vinegar to the boil and uses more middle eastern style aromatics. You can experiment with different spices or replace the onion with a different vegetable - pickled turnip is popular in Lebanon, recognisable for their bright pink colour as they’re pickled with beetroot. Both pickle recipes would work well alongside a Mangal grill spread, with hummus, kebab and plenty of fresh salads.

Time: 10 mins (prep), 10 mins (cook), 1 week (to pickle)

Serves: 4

Equipment: 1x chopping board, 2x containers (heat proof), 1x sauce pan


Salt pickle:

  • baby cucumbers
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • sea salt (few tbsp or so)
  • garlic (to taste)

Hot pickle:

  • 1 red onion
  • red wine vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cardamon
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger


Step 1

Heat up a pan of water and then simply into a container add half of the dill to the bottom, half of your sliced garlic and then your baby cucumbers on top.

Step 2

Now, add the rest of the garlic and dill. Hit the water with a lot of salt (few tbsp or so). Once dissolved cover our cucumbers and then cover and leave to pickle for 1 week.

Step 3

Now let’s move onto our hot pickle. Peel and quarter your onions before adding into a heat proof container.

Step 4

Let’s assemble a pot of our pickling liquor. Add the two vinegars and then water, keeping the ration the same amount of vinegar to water, and then add in all of the aromatics and seasonings.

Step 5

Bring to the boil and then pour it straight over the onions. Leave for 3 - 7 days before eating!


Eyal's Notes

Step 1

So, this is a great basic technique for us to make a pickle. From a Jewish method with salt as well as garlic and dill. Then we will do a hot pickle which is great for things from the grill.

We want our water to be warm and not boiling. Just enough to dissolve the salt.

Step 2

I like it when the container is nice and crowded.

I leave my pickles outside but feel free to put them in the fridge.

Step 3

This is truly a hot pickle so make sure your container can withstand the heat.

I think this is a really special pickle - we can play around with the flavours we use to compliment our dish.

Step 4

We want a ratio of 1:1:1 with our vinegars and water, just make sure you make enough to cover the onions.

Step 5

This pickle can be eaten a bit quicker than the cucumber one due to the heat in the liquid cooking the onion slightly.

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Eyal Jagermann
I think food is at its best when it’s fresh, simple...unpretentious. The most important thing? Ingredients - I am obsessed with quality.