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Crunchy, Tasty Chinese Pickled Cucumbers With Quick Pantry Staples

Looking for a quick and easy side dish recipe with an Asian flair? You have to try these crunchy, delicious Chinese Pickled Cucumbers. Tossing the Chinese Pickled Cucumber recipe together takes minutes, and after one hour, it’s ready to serve. Plus, you can use these simple pantry staples to achieve the tangy Chinese cuisine flavors.

Y’all know that I like quick and easy recipes. I love having recipes that I can quickly pull together without going shopping. These pantry staples create a delicious, crunchy side dish or appetizer; you’ll never know the difference. However, I’ll share options for the traditional Chinese ingredients also.

Chinese Pickled Cucumber Recipe made with Pantry Staple Ingredients.  Crunchy and spicy appetizer or side dish.

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Easy Chinese Pickled Cucumbers

I was looking for a tasty Chinese side dish for our Supper Club Chinese-themed dinner party. We have enjoyed the Chinese-picked cucumbers that we have had in restaurants but have never attempted to make them ourselves.

I was surprised at how quick and easy they are to make. You can toss the ingredients together in about 5 minutes, and they are ready to serve after just an hour in the refrigerator.

How Can You Serve Chinese Pickled Cucumber Recipe

The Chinese Pickled Cucumber recipe makes a great side dish for any Asian dish, such as noodles, rice, chicken, or tuna. We served our recipe with a seared Ahi Tuna.

Chinese Pickled Cucumbers made with Pantry Staple Ingredients.  Crunchy side dish with seared tuna.

The recipe is also great as a crunchy, spicy appetizer before the meal or served at a cocktail party.

How Long Will The Picked Cucumber Recipe Last?

The recipe is ready to serve after marinating one hour in the refrigerator. However, if you keep the Chinese-picked cucumbers in an airtight container, you can snack on them for up to a week.

Chinese Pickled Cucumber Recipe made with Pantry Staple Ingredients.  Crunchy and spicy appetizer or side dish.

Chinese Picked Cucumber Recipe

First, you will need four Persian or firm small cucumbers. Larger English cucumbers can be substituted if there are no other choices. Don’t use Kirby cucumbers, which are known for pickling. They are not firm enough and will not be crunchy.

In addition to the cucumbers, you will need the following ingredients found in most pantries. Several of the Chinese ingredients were not readily available in my grocery stores. Many can be purchased online if you prefer to use the Chinese versions. Next to each item, I’ll share the Chinese substitution. Just click the highlighted items for details.

See the recipe card for exact measurements.

Ingredients for Crunchy Chinese Pickled Cucumbers.  Asian appetizer or side dish.

How To Prepare Cucumbers

To prepare the cucumbers, begin by washing and drying them. Then, slice the cucumbers into a colander.

You can slice it vertically if you prefer. I like to cut into bite-size pieces.

Slice cucumbers into colander.

Sprinkle salt over the cucumbers and toss.

Spring cucumbers with salt to drain.

Allow them to sit and drain for approximately 30 minutes. When using larger cucumbers such as English, you may want to drain for up to 45 minutes.

Rinse salt from the cucumbers with cold water, tossing until the salt has been removed.

Finally, press the cucumbers between two paper towels to remove excess water.

Place in a serving bowl and add marinade.

How To Make Marinade

While the cucumbers are draining, toss the remaining ingredients except the toasted sesame seeds.

Whisk the ingredients together.

And when the cucumbers have been drained and dried, pour the marinade over them and toss.

Cover with a lid or cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Toast the sesame seeds and set aside to sprinkle over the top just before serving.

You will be amazed at how crunchy and tasty the Chinese Pickled Cucumbers are. They have been added to our rotation of “it’s so easy, even I’ll make it” side dishes.

Chinese Pickled Cucumber Recipe made with Pantry Staple Ingredients.  Crunchy and spicy appetizer or side dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are my cucumbers soggy? Using the preferred cucumbers and allowing them to drain is a must to avoid soggy cucumbers.
  2. How much salt should I use on the cucumbers? Sprinkle heavily because you will rinse the salt away. The purpose of the salt is to remove water from the cucumbers so they will not be soggy.
  3. Does it matter how I slice the cucumbers? No, however, I personally prefer bite-size pieces.
  4. What if I can’t find the Chinese spices recommended? I can’t imagine the recipe being any tastier than with the ingredients I used. However, many will attest to the spicy flavor that authentic Asian spices invoke. I recommend using your own judgment.
  5. Where can I find the authentic spices and ingredients? I have linked the Chinese ingredients that I found on Amazon for your convenience. Just scroll back to the ingredient list above.
Yield: 4 servings

Crunchy Chinese Pickled Cucumber Recipe with Pantry Staples

Crunchy Chinese Pickled Cucumber Recipe with Pantry Staples

Quick and easy delicious Asian side dish or appetizer. Crunchy Chinese Picked Cucumbers

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 4 Persian Cucumbers or Small Firm Cucumbers
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground peppercorn medley
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Toasted Sesame Seed


  1. Wash and dry cucumbers.
  2. Slice cucumbers vertically or horizontally into bite-size pieces
  3. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt
  4. Allow the salted cucumbers to drain for approximately 30 minutes
  5. Mix all remaining ingredients except toasted sesame seeds and whisk together to form a marinade.
  6. After draining the cucumbers, rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  7. Place between paper towels and press to dry.
  8. Pour spicy marinade over the cucumbers and toss.
  9. Seal the mixture in a bowl with a lid or cling wrap.
  10. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
  11. Toast sesame seeds and set aside.
  12. Remove pickled cucumbers from the refrigerator just before serving and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.


If using larger English cucumbers, all them to soak in salt and drain for up to 45 minutes.

You can substitute several items with authentic Chinese spices, as mentioned and linked in the blog article. If you are using Black Vinegar, you will not need the rice and balsamic vinegar. The red pepper flakes and be substituted for Chili Flakes and Peppercorn Medley for Sichuan Peppercorns.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

I look forward to sharing the full Chinese Recipes for Supper Club with you on Saturday.

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michele - vintage home designs

Sunday 25th of February 2024

These look so good Rachel! We always have a ton of cucumbers in our garden every year and I can't wait to try this recipe!


Sunday 25th of February 2024

Michele, you will love this recipe.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Saturday 24th of February 2024

These sound so delicious Rachel. I'm going to have to try to make these myself.


Sunday 25th of February 2024

Kim, You will love them. Thanks.


Friday 23rd of February 2024

I love cucumbers and these look so good, Rachel. I can't wait to try them!


Saturday 24th of February 2024

Jen, Beware, they are addictive. We've made them twice and picking up more today. LOL


Tuesday 20th of February 2024

These sound delicious, Rachel! I've got all the ingredients on hand and plan to whip some up this week!


Tuesday 20th of February 2024

Anne, We've already made this recipe twice. It's so easy and delicious.

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