Friday, July 27, 2012

Fermented Cucumber Pickles (raw)

You know how when you start college or join a team or take a class where they want there to be a lot of discussion they always have everyone go around and, "Say your name and something interesting about yourself"? I hate that. As soon as you say something is interesting it ends up sounding dorky unless the interesting thing about yourself is that you invented post-its. So I always say, "My name is Sarah and I love pickles a lot" because it's already dorky. But I do, I love pickles a lot.

You know those delicious kosher dill pickles that cost $4 per jar? Yeah, these are like those but better, and you can get 5 or more pounds worth in one batch. But you really need to get some good, fresh pickling cucumbers. We got a 5 pound bag at the local farmer's market. So go find some and make these. As I said in my post detailing fermented sour kraut, raw fermented vegetables contain that good bacteria for your intestinal flora that people think you need to eat yoghurt to get.

Fresh pickling cucumbers from the Mankato Farmer's Market

5 lbs. of pickling cucumbers, washed
Filtered water
Sea salt
Any desired flavorings, this time we used:
15 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. allspice berries, lightly crushed
1 Tbsp. peppercorns, lightly crushed
6 stems of fresh dill flowers

1) Wash the cucumbers and place them in a large glass or ceramic jar or crock, making sure there is enough room to cover them with water and for the water to rise a little. We got a glass crock at Target for about $14.00.

2) Add your other spices and flavorings and intermingle them with the cucumbers.

3) Add the water and the salt by mixing them together in a measuring cup and stirring to dissolve the salt.
The amount is going to depend on the amount of cucumbers and the size and shape of your crock. The equation is that you need 3 Tbsp. of salt per 4 cups (32 oz.) of water. We had to mix 2 2/1 batches of water/salt solution and pour them over our cucumbers which turned out to be 10 cups of water and 7 1/2 Tbsp. of salt.

4) Once the cucumbers are submerged in water they must be weighted down to keep them submerged, you don't want floaters. We fill two 1 gallon baggies with water and double bag them and place them on top of the cucumbers.

5) Place the crock in a dry place that is not too hot and not too cold, about 65 degrees F (and it must be dark if you are using a glass crock), we use our hall closet. Let them ferment for about a 5-7 days. To make sure they're fermenting check for bubbles at the end of the first day or second day. When they taste like pickles and are still crisp they are done.

6) Once they are done transfer them to jars and cover them with the pickling liquid and store in the fridge for several months. Note: the liquid will become cloudy as they ferment.


  1. Thanks so much! am about to try and will let you know how they came out. In this part of the world they pickle but everything is with vinegar and hot water. Not me-
    Thanks again!

    1. Wonderful, I hope they work out! The flavor is so different when they are not heated. Since posting this recipe I have read that adding grape leaves (just from a growing vine) helps to maintain crispness. I'm going to try it this summer and see how that turns out.