Cucumbers Pickled in Shio Kōji is the second recipe from my post Shio Kōji Recipes. Unlike typical Japanese pickles, the cucumbers pickled in Shio Kōji are not very salty. They have a mild sweetness and saltiness.
Because of the reduced amount of salt in the pickles, they can only keep in the fridge for about 5 days. But they are so tasty that they probably won’t last 5 days anyway.
This is a very short post as the recipe is extremely short and I already talked about Shio Kōji in the parent post Shio Kōji Recipes – Pork Sauté and Pickled Cucumbers.
How to Make Pickled Cucumbers with Shio Kōji
This recipe is even simpler than Shio Kōji Pork Sauté in the parent post. You will need:
- Cucumber sliced into 1cm thick pieces
- Shio Kōji
- Mirin (optional)
You can find details about Shio Kōji in the parent post Shio Kōji Recipes – Pork Sauté and Pickled Cucumbers.
Mix all ingredients in a zip lock bag and leave the bag in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. The longer you pickle, the more umami penetrates the cucumber slices. You will also see more water comes out of the cucumbers.
The weight of Shio Kōji against the total weight of vegetables to be pickled should be 12-15%. Shio Kōji I used in my recipe is 12%.
Other Vegetables You can Pickle
You can of course pickle other vegetables. Other than cucumbers, the commonly used vegetables are daikon, cabbage, and carrot. You can mix vegetables too. I think that fresh vegetables with firm texture that are used in salad are suited to pickling in Shio Kōji.
When I make vegetable pickles with Shio Kōji, I do the following:
- Select the vegetables to pickle and slice them into bite-size pieces.
- Place a zip lock bag on a kitchen scale and initialise the weight to zero.
- Add sliced vegetables and check the weight.
- Calculate the required amount of Shio Kōji (12-15% of the weight of the vegetables) and work out the total weight of vegetables plus Shio Kōji.
- Add Shio Kōji to the bag until the weight reaches to the target weight (total weight).
- Seal the bag, after removing air in the bag. Put the bag in the fridge.
In this way, it literally takes only 5 minutes. Here is the variation of Shio Kōji pickles I made – cabbage and carrot pickled in Shio Kōji with a small amount of red chilli.
You will need at least 1 day to pickle the cabbage and carrot. Unlike sliced cucumbers, pickling liquid cannot penetrate the flesh easily.
It is also important to cut the vegetables in such way that the pickling time for different types of vegetables are similar. For example, you don’t want to pickle cucumbers and carrot sliced into the same thickness. Before carrots get pickled, the cucumbers will be over-pickled.
Making pickles in this way is one of the simplest - you can make them in an hour if you are in a hurry. Even if the pickling time is only 2 hours, the pickled cucumbers are so tasty and full of umami. Specks of white grains from the koji are pretty on the green cucumbers.
Total Time assumes the pickling time is 2 hours, which is the shortest time.
Please see the post Shio Kōji Recipes – Pork Sauté and Pickled Cucumbers for Meal Ideas using today's dish.
- 250g / 0.6lb cucumbers (note 1)
- 1½ tbsp Shio Koji (note 2)
- ¼ tsp mirin (optional, note 3)
Cut both ends of the cucumbers off. Slice each cucumber diagonally into 7mm / ¼” thick pieces.
Place the cucumber slices in a zip lock bag.
Add Shio Kōji and mirin (if using) to the bag and massage the bag well, ensuring that all cucumber pieces are coated in Shio Kōji.
Remove air from the bag as much as possible and seal the bag.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
1. I used 2 Lebanese cucumbers (similar to Persian cucumber).
2. You can find more about Shio Kōji, including where to buy it, in my post Shio Kōji Recipes – Pork Sauté and Pickled Cucumbers.
I used Shio Kōji in loose paste form, which contains broken rice grains. You can also buy Shio Kōji in a liquid form and use it in the same way. But I personally prefer using the standard Shio Kōji paste for marinade because the specks of white rice grains from Shio Kōji .
3. Since Shio Kōji is slightly salty, the addition of mirin makes the pickling paste milder. But if you don’t have a sweet tooth like me, you might want to omit it.
4. Cucumbers Pickled in Shio Kōji can keep about 5 days in the fridge.
5. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 63g calories: 10kcal fat: 0.2g (0%) saturated fat: 0g (%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 0g monounsaturated fat: 0g cholesterol: 0mg (0%) sodium: 342mg (14%%) potassium: 95mg (3%%) carbohydrates: 21g (6%%) dietary fibre: 0.3g (1%) sugar: 3.1g protein: 0.6g vitamin a: 1% vitamin c: 2.9% calcium: 0.8% iron: 3%