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Pickled Cucumber Chinese Style

Crunchy tasty Chinese Style " Yan Huang Gua" {腌黄瓜}

by Shirley
pickled cucumber Chinese Style Recipe

Pickled cucumber without vinegar Chinese Style is crunchy and appetizingly delicious. The ginger, garlic, and long green pepper work magically together for a naturally yummy taste. A splash of light soy sauce with sugar, along with a tiny of freshly ground Sichuan pepper is all you need to spice up the flavor. Last but not least, sprinkle a splash of vodka to keep it fresh longer.

Dubbed “Yan Huang Gua” {腌黄瓜} in Chinese, it is a perfect side dish to go with porridge.

Pickled cucumber Chinese Style Recipe

How to make cucumber taste crunchier?

One of the things I like about this Chinese Style pickled cucumber is that cucumber is deliciously crunchy. So what is the secrete behind the crunchiness? Well, we cut the cucumber into long strips and then marinate them with salt. Toss the cucumber with salt in a big mixing bowl and let it rest for about 2 hours.

This step flavors the cucumber and pushes out the water cucumber contains, which ultimately makes the cucumber crunchy.

marinate the cucumber strips with salt

By the way, don’t worry about the salt. I rinse the marinated cucumber with water to get rid of the excess salt so that the cucumber doesn’t taste overly salty at all. In addition, I recommend using Himalayan Pink salt, which is my go-to salt for cooking. It is perhaps the most natural and purest salt.

How to make pickled cucumber Chinese Style without vinegar?

Tip No.1 is to prepare cucumber properly for pickled cucumber

Cut the cucumber into finger-length long strips, and add to a large mixing bowl along with a pinch of salt. Toss well using a pair of bamboo spatulas, the same way as you toss a salad, and let it rest for about 2 hours.

cucumber cut into finger-long strips and marinated with salt in a large mixing bowl

After 2 hours, you should see lots of water coming out of the cucumber. Dump the water, rinse the cucumber in previously boiled room temperature water a few times to get rid of the excess salt, and then gently squeeze the extra water and set them aside. The cucumber now is ready for the Chinese-Style pickled cucumber.

cucumber finger-long strips previously marinated with salt

Please use previously boiled room temperature water instead of tap water if you can. It helps keep the pickled cucumber fresh longer.

Tip No.2 is to prepare fresh herbs properly

Garlic and ginger work well together to a flavorful taste. For ginger, try to get organic tender ginger if you can. Slice the garlic and ginger into thin slices. You can enjoy them as part of the dish, by the way.

sliced ginger and garlic and chopped long green pepper

Use those long green pepper which is crunchy and flavorful. No need to get rid of the seeds, simply trim both ends off and then slice them into thin rings. Needless to say, if you prefer spicy food, feel free to add one or two jalapenos.

You can enjoy all three herbs as part of the dish if you’d like to, by the way.

Ingredients for pickled cucumber Chinese Style

Tip No.3 is to bring the light soy sauce and water to a boil and then cool to the room temperature

Add the light soy sauce and water to a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, sprinkle the freshly ground Sichuan pepper, known as “Hua Jiao” {花椒} in Chinese, mix well, and let it cool to room temperature. I use a coffee/spice grinder to freshly grind the spice.

boiled light soy sauce with water along with a pinch of freshly ground Sichuan Pepper

Last but not least is to bottle the pickled cucumber

This recipe makes about a half-gallon jar of pickled cucumber. These half-gallon mason jars or simple glass jars are among my favorites.

Boil them in a large stockpot with boiling water for a few minutes to sterilize the jar first. Set it aside and let it cool down to room temperature. Be extra careful when handling boiling water and the hot jar. Wear kitchen mittens and use a pair of sturdy kitchen tongs with silicone tips to help fetch the jar.

Jar pickled cucumber Chinese style

Then add layers of cucumber strips and herbs in an alternate fashion, and sprinkle the sugar along the way. Gently compress along the way too. Once reaching the top, pour the room temperature previously boiled light soy sauce and water mixture in a circular motion and top with a splash of vodka.

All done! Close the lid and store it in the refrigerator to enjoy, starting as early as the following day. Remember to use a clean utensil to remove pickled cucumber so as to keep it fresh longer.

Like pickles? Remember to check out the classic dill pickles too.

pickled cucumber Chinese Style Recipe

Pickled Cucumber Chinese Style "Yan Huang Gua" {腌黄瓜} Recipe

Yield: half gallon jar
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Pickled cucumber without vinegar Chinese Style "Yan Huang Gua" {腌黄瓜} is crunchy and appetizingly delicious. A perfect side dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 cucumber, about 1100 g
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 160 g long green pepper
  • 2 garlic bulbs, peeled and thin sliced
  • 50 g ginger, tender organic ginger root preferred, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 30 g cane sugar, organic unrefined preferred
  • 30 g vodka
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Szechuan {Sichuan} Pepper {Hua Jiao 花椒}, freshly ground

Instructions

  • Gather ingredients.
    Ingredients for pickled cucumber Chinese Style
  • Wash and rinse the cucumber, and trim both ends off. Cut the cucumber into finger-length long segments, and then across into thin strips. Add the cucumber strips into a large mixing bowl and add 1 tsp salt. Toss and mix well and let it rest for about 2 hours.
    cucumber cut into finger-long strips and marinated with salt in a large mixing bowl
  • Add light soy sauce and water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, sprinkle in the Szechuan {Sichuan} pepper {Hua Jiao}, mix well and set it aside to wait for it to cool down to room temperature.
    boiled light soy sauce with water along with a pinch of freshly ground Sichuan Pepper
  • Sterilize a half-gallon jar in boiling water, and set it aside.
  • Prepare garlic, long green pepper, and ginger. Peel garlic, trim off ends if needed, and cut into thin slices. Wash and rinse the ginger and long green pepper. Cut the ginger into thin slices. Trim long green pepper's ends off and cut into thin rings.
    sliced ginger and garlic and chopped long green pepper
  • After 2 hours, a lot of water is coming out of the cucumber.
    marinate the cucumber strips with salt
  • Dump the water coming out of the cucumber and rinse them in previously boiled room temperature water a few times to get rid of the excessive salt.
    cucumber finger-long strips previously marinated with salt
  • Add layers of cucumber strips and herbs in an alternate fashion, and sprinkle the sugar along the way. Gently compress along the way too. Once reaching the top, pour the room temperature previously boiled light soy sauce and water mixture slowly in a circular motion and top with a splash of vodka.
    bottle pickled cucumber Chinese Style
  • All don! Close with the lid and store in the refrigerator. You can enjoy them as early as the following day.
    pickled cucumber Chinese Style Recipe

Notes

  • Don't worry about the sodium level as most of the salt will be rinsed off. I also recommend using Himalayan pink salt, perhaps the most natural and natural salt.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1211mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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