Super Easy, Super Crunchy ~ Super Delicious!
- 6 large kirby cucumbers, about 2 3/4 pounds, scrubbed – freshest available
- 1 ¼ cups cider vinegar, organic
- 1 ¼ cups rice vinegar, can use “seasoned vinegar” but contains sodium and sugar
- ⅔ cup cane sugar, organic
- 2 teaspoons pickling spice, (see suggestion)
- ¾ teaspoon Shichimi Togarashi*, japanese red pepper mix
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 18 fresh garlic chives, or try garlic scapes
- 8 fresh ginger slices, 1/4″ wide, peeled
Sterilize two pint glass jars and lids (run through dishwasher).
Cut the 1/4 ” of the ends off of the end of each kirby cucumber**. Slice them in half lengthwise, then each half in thirds yielding 6 spears each.
Place the cucumber spears in a very large bowl, cover with lots of ice, then some cool water so the cucumber are submerged. Put in the refrigerator for two hours(at least) until crispy. If the ice melts, simply add some more. (Don’t miss this step- you pickles are guaranteed to be crunchy!) Can substitute some multi-colored carrot spears too.
Drain, then place the cucumbers dry in a clean kitchen towel.
Add some garlic chives to each pint glass jar, pushing them towards the outside glass.
Add 4 ginger slices to the bottom of each jar.
Fill each jar with the cucumbers – packing them in.
Make the pickle brining solution:
To a large non-aluminum pot, add the two vinegars, sugar, pickling spice, shichimi togarashi and kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, and stir up for just a few minutes until the sugar and salt has dissolved.
Pour the HOT solution into the jars to within 1/4 inch of top – I used a plastic jar funnel (purchase at hardware stores). Cover tightly with the jar tops.
Cool at room temperature until cool, about 2 hours. Place in the refrigerator.
Ready to eat in 2 – 3 days. A more developed flavor in a week.
Will keep fresh and tasty for up to 2 months.
* Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese Red Pepper Spice blend which includes:
orange peel, black, white and toasted sesame seeds, cayenne, ginger, Szechuan pepper and nori
(It’s perfectly spicy, but not too hot).
** There’s an enzyme in the blossom end of the cucumber that can make the pickles soft and unsafe to eat. Really!
McCormick’s Pickling Spice is a super blend of:
Cinnamon, Allspice, Mustard Seed, Coriander, Bay Leaves, Ginger, Chillies, Cloves, Black Pepper, Mace and Cardamom
This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of it’s author, Karen Sheer.
Makes 2, pint jars of pickles – about 36 spears