These quick pickled cucumbers are a simple side or topping. Often used in Asian cooking, these sweet and sour cucumbers make a great addition to nearly any meal.

bowl of Quick Pickled Cucumber

These sweet and sour quick pickled cucumbers are thin ribbons of cucumber that are very quickly pickled in a brine of vinegar, salt, and sugar.

These aren’t your typical dill pickles that you snack on. These thin slices of cucumber are used as a garnish on Asian-inspired dishes such as beef bulgogi or pork belly tacos, similar to the way pickled red onions or pickled jalapenos are used on tacos.

They also add a tangy, sweet and sour flavor when used as a topping for salads and sandwiches

Once you learn to quick pickled vegetables you won’t want to stop. Try our pickled radishes and pickled cauliflower too!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Thank you!

Quick Pickled Cucumber ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what we use to make pickled cucumber:

  • Cucumbers – We recommend using English cucumber, but you could use other varieties if you prefer.
  • White wine vinegar – You could substitute with rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar.
  • Sugar – This adds a bit of sweetness and cuts down on the acidity of the vinegar.
  • Salt – This adds a bit of flavor and helps to preserve the cucumber.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables!

Quick Pickled Cucumber in a glass cup


Step 1 – Prep the cucumbers. First, trim the ends off the cucumbers and then cut in half widthwise. Next, use a vegetable peeler on the cucumber running it lengthwise to cut thin ribbons. Keep doing this on each side of the cucumber halves, stopping once you hit the seeds. Discard the cores of the cucumbers.

Step 2 – Make the basic brine. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt until well mixed. 

Step 3 – Add the cucumbers. When the vinegar is ready, add the sliced cucumbers to the bowl and stir to combine. Make sure to cover as much of the cucumbers as possible with the liquid and then let it soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Serve or store. After 30 minutes, either serve the cucumbers or place in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Note: If you want to try something slightly different you can also add thinly sliced white/yellow onions to the mixture.

Quick Pickled Cucumber in a black bowl
What is Quick Pickle?

Quick pickling is a simplified pickling process that uses vinegar, sugar, and salt to quickly pickle a vegetable. In this case, we are using cucumbers, but you could do this to other veggies like carrots, green beans, red onions, and others. 

This recipe pickles thin slices of cucumber in a short amount of time, about 15 to 30 minutes. You can use these pickled cucumbers as a garnish on Asian dishes, such as beef bulgogi or our Instant pot pork belly tacos

This kind of quick pickling differs from refrigerator pickles which often uses pickling spices such as red pepper flakes, dill, mustard seed, and peppercorns, along with vinegar, salt, and sugar to pickle various vegetables. We’ve shared our recipes for pickled cauliflower and refrigerator zucchini pickles in the past, which you can use if you like pickling your own veggies. 

When you using the fridge method, you need to let them sit for at least 24 to 48 hours before using.

What are the Best Cucumbers for Quick Pickling?

We prefer using English cucumbers because the skin on the outside is thinner, which makes it more pleasant for eating. If you get one that is longer than 10 inches you may want to cut it in half before peeling.

If you are using a standard cucumber, we recommend peeling the skin off first since it is thicker, slightly bitter, and often waxy.

You can also use Persian cucumbers since they have the same texture as the English cucumbers. They are much smaller, though, so you’ll need to use more of them. You also won’t get ribbons that are as long or wide.

holding a bowl of beef bulgogi and bowl of Quick Pickled Cucumber

What to Serve it With 

Pickled cucumbers often appear in Asian dishes, such as beef bulgogi, Korean beef on bao buns, or as a topping on a salad. We love them on our Instant Pot pork belly tacos

Of course, there are no rules to where you can use them! So feel free to use them as a side at a BBQ, as a snack, or any other reason you like!

How to Make it Ahead of Time 

These are great make ahead veggies. They should last for about 4 days in the fridge. Just make sure that you store them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge. You cannot freeze these pickles.

Looking for More Quick Pickled Vegetables?

Like this recipe?
Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest for more recipes like this.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Quick Pickled Cucumber

These quick pickled cucumbers are a simple side or topping. Often used in Asian cooking, these sweet and sour cucumbers make a great addition to nearly any meal.


  • 2 Cucumbers, we suggest English cucumber
  • 3/4 cup White wine vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt


  • Trim the ends from the cucumbers. If the cucumber is very long cut it in half widthwise.
  • Use a vegetable peeler on the cucumber running it lengthwise to cut thin ribbons. Do this on each side of the cucumber and continue peeling until you reach the seedy center. Discard this core.
  • In a large bowl combine the vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir together until well mixed.
  • Add the cucumber ribbons to the bowl and toss with the vinegar mixture. Try to cover as much of the cucumber with the liquid as possible.
  • Let the mixture sit for 15- 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  • Use immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.


Calories: 32kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 152mg, Potassium: 222mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 108IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy pickled cucumber, pickled cucumber recipe, quick pickled cucumber