These Quick Pickled Vegetables are exactly what you need if you love pickles, but feel they just take too long. All you need to do is briefly heat the mix of water, vinegar, sugar and salt, pour it over your vegetables of choice and you are done. You can use them on anything from Banh Mi Buns to Ramen within just 1h or have them in the fridge for 2-3 weeks as super quick snack or topping for anything your pickle loving heart desires.
Why You Want To Make Them
Apart from the fact that I’ll be using these as both Banh Mi Bun and Ramen topping for the recipes in the coming days, these Quick Pickled Vegetables are endlessly versatile. You can add chili, if you enjoy them on the spicy side (I don’t, so I left it out), add herbs like dill or cilantro, depending on the flavour direction you want to go. Add honey for a delicious twist, maybe some mustard seeds with it, for a honey mustard version. Or more Asian spices. Possible some soy sauce even.
I’m giving you the very basic canvas recipe here, as that’s what goes into Banh Mi Buns. Which was my reason for making them in the first place.
What Vegetables can I use?
Vegetable wise, there are virtually no limits. I love carrots, mini sweetcorn, cucumber, radishes, and red cabbage. But you could also use Zucchini, pumpkin, white cabbage of course or beetroot. Since the basic process is so easy and ingredients just your very standard pantry contents, you can wildly experiment and adapt them to your preferences.
I’ve made rather delicious Honey-Mustard cucumbers with dill here as variation, by simply adding honey to sweeten, mustard seeds and fresh dill. Some peppercorns for a bit of heat.
Which vinegar is best?
I’ve used both plain white vinegar and rice vinegar with good results for this. I would generally say use something that doesn’t interfere with the colour too much, so you can see what you are pickling in the jar. But if you want to splurge and try Balsamic for example, please let me know how that turns out.
I’ve used both white sugar and honey with really delicious results. You will need one of them, or your pickles will mostly likely lead to a rather violent coughing fit. You are going for the perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty here.
I’m using kosher salt here, hence 4 tsp. If you are using sea salt, use half the amount.
This is a pretty important ingredient. You don’t want pure vinegar over your veggies. You can experiment with the ratio, as it will influence the final flavour. I quite like 3 cups vinegar to 4 cups water, for a really zingy and fresh flavour.
If you only make one or two different vegetables, use half the amount of ingredients. My portion was just right for 5 different ones in their containers.
Prepare your Vegetables
Depending on what vegetables you are using and what you want to use them for, slice, julienne or leave them whole (baby sweetcorn for example can go in whole).
I’ve julienned my carrots, thinly sliced my cucumbers for the Banh Mi Buns lengthwise, sliced radishes and thinly shredded the red cabbage.
For the Honey Mustard variety, I’ve chopped my cucumbers into larger sticks.
Add them to jars or glass containers with lids. Depending on the below hot or cold method you are using, make sure they are heat proof. I tend to put mine in the sink when adding the hot liquid, just in case one decides to crack, even though mine state to be heat proof.
You can go two ways here: Just stir the ingredients together cold, until the sugar has dissolved. Then pour over the veggies in your jars. The stirring takes a bit longer and they may need overnight, to get that delicious tang.
Or heat the vinegar with the remaining ingredients until the sugar has dissolved. Just boil very briefly. Let it cool down for a little, to not endanger your jars, then pour over. I always feel heating is a little safer, as we want to keep the vegetables for about 1 week or longer. So, I’m using the hob method.
I absolutely love making Quick Pickled Vegetables for all sorts of dishes, as they only get better with time. They are fantastic to have on hand as snacks (Girl Dinner anyone?), as topping for Buddha Bowls, Ramen, Sandwiches of all sorts, Burgers…you name it.
I tend to have at least 2 jars of different varieties on hand at all times, in case a pickle craving hits me. Which happens a lot.
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.
Quick Pickled Vegetables
- 5 Pickling Jars or glass containers. Ideally heat proof.
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups vinegar You can use simple white vinegar or rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar or honey
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 large carrots cut into matchsticks
- ½ pound radishes sliced
- ½ pound mini sweetcorn either left whole or cut lengthwise in half
- ½ cucumber sliced thinly if using for sandwiches or into sticks for snacking
- ¼ red cabbage shredded
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 3 tbsp Honey instead of the sugar (or more to taste)
- Fresh dill sprigs
- This is particularly good with cucumbers
Prepare Your Vegetables:
- Depending on your preferences and intended use, prepare the vegetables. You can slice, julienne, or leave them whole. Here's how to prepare them for different applications:
- For Banh Mi Buns: Julienne the carrots, thinly slice the cucumbers lengthwise, and slice the radishes. Shred the red cabbage.
- For Honey Mustard variety: Cut the cucumbers into larger sticks.
- Adjust the cutting style based on your preference and the type of pickles you want.
Pack the Jars:
- Divide the prepared vegetables evenly among heatproof glass jars or containers with lids. Arrange them as you like, mixing colors for a vibrant look if desired.
Prepare the Pickling Liquid:
Cold Method (Longer Wait):
- In a separate bowl, combine the water, vinegar, sugar or honey, and kosher salt. Stir well until the sugar has completely dissolved. This method may take a bit longer for the flavors to develop.
- Pour the cold pickling liquid over the vegetables in the jars. Ensure the vegetables are fully submerged. Seal the jars with their lids.
Hot Method (Faster Results):
- In a saucepan, heat the vinegar over medium heat. Add the sugar or honey and kosher salt. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Briefly bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.
- Allow the hot pickling liquid to cool for a few minutes to avoid cracking the jars.
- Pour the slightly cooled pickling liquid over the prepared vegetables in the jars. Ensure the vegetables are fully covered by the liquid. Seal the jars with their lids.
Store and Wait:
- Let the pickled vegetables cool to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator.
- For optimal flavor, allow the pickled vegetables to marinate for at least 24 hours, although they can be enjoyed after a few hours as well.
- These quick pickled vegetables will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 1 week or longer.
- Use your pickled vegetables in sandwiches, salads, as a side dish, or as a crunchy and tangy snack.
- Experiment with different combinations and enjoy the delicious, homemade flavors of your quick pickled vegetables!
I tend to have at least 2 jars of different varieties on hand at all times, in case a pickle craving hits me. Which happens a lot. I’m assuming about 8 portions here, as that’s roughly how many I got out of it on buns and in Ramen. But it depends largely on how much you feel is “a portion”, so the calculation here is very vague and individual Calories: Approximately 40-50 calories per serving
Protein: Approximately 1-2 grams per serving
Fat: Approximately 0-1 gram per serving
Carbohydrates: Approximately 8-10 grams per serving
Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
Sugars: Approximately 4-5 grams per serving