Robby dubbed these “quickles.” Send help (and forgive the classic refrigerator lighting).
The nice thing about testing quickles (pickles–argh) is that this can be done in a matter of hours. I made the first two jars on the left at the same time, tasted them a few hours later, put together the third jar, and did the fourth after that. Four iterations of a recipe tested within 5 hours. And a ton of pickles to eat.
I’ve noticed that on food shows like Chopped, a “quick pickle” always, always pulls high praise from the judges. There’s something about the bright acidic pop that pickled vegetables bring, and the cleverness of having done something cool in 30 minutes or less.
My winner from the above lineup is an Asian-inspired recipe! It uses rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and cucumbers, AND it produces pickles in almost no time.
Quick Asian Pickles: Notes
You can eat these after as little as one hour. They will be very lightly pickled; good for a garnish or less intense nibbles. But if you want them to reach full pickle potential, they’re best overnight. At that point, they are very strong. I think they would be brilliant garnishes on bahn mi.
It may look like there is not enough liquid in the jar. Don’t panic! The salt and sugar will draw more liquid out of the cucumbers, creating enough brine to cover them. Put the jar at eye level and give it a shake whenever you open the fridge, to encourage them to brine evenly.
- Too strong? Add 1 cup water.
- Only have rice vinegar? That’s fine; they’ll just be slightly less intense.
- Like sweet, like an Asian bread-and-butter pickle? Increase sugar to 1/4 cup.
- Prefer classic dill pickles? Use white vinegar, 1/2 – 1 cup water, and a couple sprigs of fresh dill.
- This brine would also work great on thinly sliced carrots or radishes. All three together would make a bangin’ side salad.
Beer! Specifically, gose-style beer. Gose (GOES-uh) is a beer that originated in Germany. It’s crisp, low-alcohol, and a little salty. (The internet has strong opinions about gose: Google turned up, in order, a Thrillist article declaring “Gose Ruined Craft Beer” and a HuffPo article “Why Gose is the Only Beer You Should Be Drinking This Summer.”) It’s a very summer-y beer that plays well with the bright saltiness of the pickles. Try Six Point Jammer Gose or Dogfish Head Sea Quench (bonus: the latter has electrolytes!).
BONUS SUGGESTION: For something completely different, try MIA Big In Japan. This is a high-alcohol beer made with sake yeast. It’s light, malty, and has a little bit of creaminess from the yeast and a sake aftertaste.
Quick Asian Pickles! A recipe that makes great snacks or toppings, and is ready in as little as one hour!
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
4 cups thinly sliced Kirby, Japanese or English cucumbers (about 5 Kirby, 3 Japanese, or 1 English)
Optional: 1 cup water
Place all ingredients in a well-sealed container. Shake and refrigerate.
Whenever you open the fridge, give them another shake to help distribute the seasonings.
These can be eaten as soon as 1 hour later, but are best if left overnight.
As noted, these pickles are STRONG! If you like them less pungent, add 1 cup water to the initial recipe.
It’s #FarmersMarketWeek! Look below for more awesome recipes that feature summer-fresh ingredients from local farmer’s markets.
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