Pickled cucumber sticks are sweet, tangy, crunchy, and a great addition to salads or sandwiches. Have a bottle of pickled cucumber sticks in just 20 minutes!
When I was growing up, gherkins were one of my favorite fridge treats. We didn’t have them often, but when we did, I savored every bite. I love the crunch, the tang, and the phenomenal way that they complement cheese (another firm favorite). I have always been a big fan of pickled food but for some reason, they’re not a cheap treat on this side of the world. Hence, I needed to figure out how to replicate gherkins without actually having mini cucumbers to pickle. With a few tries and taste testing, I came up with my version of homemade pickled cucumber sticks!
My journey to pickled cucumber sticks
I see now that there are numerous recipes for pickled cucumbers online. When I experimented with these, there weren’t any! My craving for pickled cucumbers was so great that I cut some up, boiled up a batch of brine, bottled them together and added a chilli. Not only did I make some for myself, but I also gave family members a bottle or two. I hadn’t even tasted the end product!
Well, I found out shortly after dishing out the bottles of pickled cucumbers that my brother and sister-in-law have arguments about who gets to eat them. They are indeed loved in the Billing family! Personally, I wouldn’t say that they replace gherkins. There is still something superior about biting into a whole gherkin. However, if your purse strings are tight or you can’t find gherkins in your town, then these are a great replacement!
How I Use My Pickled Cucumber Sticks
For the most part, I stand in front of my fridge, whip out some cucumber sticks and munch them. Occasionally, when I’m feeling a little more sophisticated, I use my cucumber pickled sticks in the following ways:
– Chopped up in a salad that has my homemade feta cheese (the feta soften the tang of the pickled cucumbers)
– Cheese and pickled cucumber sandwich
– On a snack platter with cubes of cheese, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, celery sticks, and my pickled scotch bonnets
– Toast, homemade cream cheese, and slices of pickled cucumber = delicious!
What You Will Need:
A clean jar
– A cucumber cut into sticks. Leave the skin on. If you peel the cucumber, the sticks will become too floppy when softened by the hot brine.
– 2 cups white vinegar
– 1.5 cups water
– 1.5 cups sugar
– Fresh dill (optional but recommended)
– 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
– A chili sliced in half (optional)
*It depends on the size of your jar as to how much brine you will need. It is best to eyeball how much brine your jar will take once filled with cucumber sticks.
How to Make Homemade Pickled Cucumber Sticks
Step 1 –
Measure the cucumber against the height of your jar and cut the cucumber to that height. Then, halve the pieces length-ways and cut into quarters length-ways. Cut the soft seed pulp out of each quarter then slice them into sticks. Don’t cut them too thin because they’ll lose their form when the brine is added.
You don’t have to cut them uniformly, but it means that your sticks will look smarter in the jar. Cutting random size pieces won’t affect the flavor.
Step 2 –
Place the sticks into the jar, standing up. Cram them in to the best of your ability. If you have space at the top, I’d insert any extra bits left over from cutting the cucumber up. Add your dill, garlic, or chili (or all of them). Try push these pieces into the cracks.
I recommend adding dill because the flavor with be closer to store-bought gherkins. However, if you don’t have fresh dill, adding some garlic or chilli will still give them a great flavour!
Step 3 –
Add the water, sugar, and vinegar to your pot and heat it on your stove. Stir every so often, helping the sugar dissolve. As the brine starts boiling, switch the heat off and pour the brine into the jar, over the cucumbers and fill to just before the top of the jar. Seal the jar.
Since I’m rather clumsy, I often spill brine around the jar. Once the jar is sealed, I carefully (because the jar is hot) carry it over to the sink and wipe the jar down with a cloth. I don’t put the jar under cold running water because the hot glass may crack.
Step 4 –
Once cooled, the jars don’t have to go straight into the fridge. Just keep them in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
However, once opened, I’d recommend they be stored in the fridge.