When we lived in San Diego, Richard and I frequented Saffron, a popular Thai takeaway. One of my favorite items was their spicy-sweet pickled cucumbers, which inspired this recipe. Use thin-skinned Japanese, Persian English or pickling cucumbers, and slice them as thinly as possible. If you have a mandolin, this a good time to use it; otherwise, just use a sharp chef’s knife. Serve these cucumbers as a refreshing summer side dish, or use them as a condiment in sandwiches and tacos. They’d be delicious on a sandwich or tortilla with Grass-Fed Beef Bulgogi and Fiery-Sweet Peach Salsa.
2 cups rice wine vinegar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2-3 medium limes)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 pound Japanese, Persian, English or pickling cucumbers, thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick or thinner)
1/2 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Combine cucumbers, onion, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add vinegar mixture and stir to combine. Let stand at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before serving, or transfer cucumber mixture to a clean jar and refrigerate up to 5 days.
Yields 1 quart
Serve these spicy-sweet (and quick to make) pickles as a refreshing summer side dish, or use them as a condiment in sandwiches and tacos.