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March 21, 2019

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Easy refrigerator pickles were a big dill in college

I love pickles. During my high school and college years after class I was always so hungry, and nothing was better than making a sandwich to satisfy that hunger. I would always make my own sandwich and choose my own ingredients. Without a doubt my favorite part of that sandwich was the pickle. The tangy crunchiness of that pickle contrasted so well with the other savory flavors of the sandwich.

I anticipated its garlicky goodness in every bite. But pickles are not limited to sandwiches. They’re great in burgers, paired with salami and cheese, or even just by themselves. Much to my disappointment, classic American pickles can be hard to find in China. Sure I can find a few jars of pickles but they are often limp and soggy, sad substitutes for my craving of dill. With no ready-made options I set out to make my own pickles.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy they were to make too. Some pickle recipes call for a long process of canning which requires sterilizing jars and waiting at least a month to enjoy the taste of that salty brine.

After some trial and error, and a little research on the Internet, I found several recipes for quick pickles that you can make in the refrigerator, thus the name “refrigerator pickles.” They do not require any special equipment other than a jar with a lid. The only special ingredient that will be a little tricky to find is the dill.

However, if you cannot find it, you can easily omit it and still have some delicious cukes. These pickles are super easy to make, the hardest part of the process is simply not eating them all while you make them.


1l glass jar with lid

2-3 cucumbers (or as many as you can fit in the jar)

5 sprigs of dill

3-4 cloves of garlic (the more the merrier)

15ml of salt

44ml of white vinegar

20 or so whole black peppercorns

1 red chili (optional)

Enough water to fill the jar after all ingredients are added


Cut your pickles into your preferred shape. You can cut them into spears, chips or horizontal slices. I prefer the last shape as they are the best for sandwiches. Remove the skin on the garlic cloves and, minus the water, add all of the ingredients into the jar. Make sure to evenly disperse the ingredients in the jar. Once the jar is filled, seal the top and give it a good vigorous shake and leave the jar upside down for about 12 hours. After 12 hours has gone, give it another good shake and flip the jar right-side up. Place in the refrigerator for another 12. After 24 hours, the pickles should be ready and can be enjoyed for about one month.

Note: Do not limit yourself to only cucumbers for this brine. Feel free to use this recipe with other vegetables including onions, okra, green beans, even carrots. You can also mix and match these vegetables all in the same jar. The key is to experiment with what you like and make it your own.


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