Pickled cucumbers

I discovered this Jamie Oliver recipe about a month ago and since then I’ve been making pickled cucumbers every week. I’ve even switched my weekly shop to Tesco as they stock the small cucumbers. You can use standard sized cucumbers but the small ones look great and are sweeter.

The real pleasure of making these pickles for me is the look and texture of the pickling ingredients – bright yellow turmeric, tiny mustard seeds and pretty star anise.

The recipe is also really straightforward – there’s no pickling mystique involved, just a few easy steps. According to comments on the recipe page the pickles can last for months in the fridge.

One thing to bear in mind is that the amount of vinegar you need will depend on the size of jar(s) you’re using (which isn’t explained in the Jamie Oliver recipe). It’s been a bit of trial and error to work out that the best way is to fill the jar with water first then halve that quantity for the amount of vinegar you need (per jar).  Then calculate half the amount of sugar to vinegar (grammes to millilitres).

This recipe says banana shallots (which I can never seem to find) so I used the fiddly round ones instead.


  • 6 pickling cucumbers , or 2 regular-sized cucumbers
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 star anise
  • 75 g caster sugar (or calculated according to the size of the jars you’re using)
  • 150 ml vinegar (cider or white wine, twice the amount of sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt


  1. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthways, and slice regular ones through the middle, then into fingers. Peel and finely slice the shallots.
  2. Put the cucumbers and shallots in a colander. Sprinkle over 2 teaspoons of sea salt. After 45 minutes, rinse well.
  3. Combine all the other ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Fit the cucumbers and onions snugly into jars then pour over the liquid. Seal and leave for at least 24 hours.



Do you have a cheap, fresh and easy recipe I can try? Let me know and I’ll feature it on the site and link back to you.

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