Pickled Cucumber

For a splendid accompaniment to salmon and rice noodles, try James Martin's hot cucumber pickle with the zing of Szechuan pepper
By James Martin
Pickled Cucumber
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes 15 mins, plus three days marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 cucumber, peeled and halved lengthways
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 55 ml groundnut oil
  • 2 small dried chillies
  • 2.5 cm length fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 75 ml mirin, (Japanese rice vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground


1. Using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds from the cucumber halves. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks, then sprinkle with the salt and leave to stand for 1 hour. Rinse the cucumber and squeeze out any excess moisture.

2. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the dried chillies until blackened, then remove from the heat. Add the ginger, fresh chilli, mushrooms, vinegar, sugar and Szechuan peppercorns and stir.

3. Add the cucumber to the mixture and spoon into sterilised jars. Leave to marinate for 2 days before serving.

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