Chinese Pickled vegetables (酱黄瓜)are always one of my favorite dishes in hot summer days. Usually they are easy to prepare and have a strong unique aroma after fermentation. Another reason we may fall in love with pickled vegetables is that they can boost our appetite.

Chinese pickled cucumber with soy sauce and vinegar

This is a recently found new ways of pickling cucumber by using soy sauce and vinegar instead of using salted water. Interesting? Haha, the taste is even more interesting.

In my hometown, people like to pickled lots of vegetables in summer days. On one hand, they can be served as cold dish in summer days when you are losing your appetite. On the other hand, when the winter comes, pickled vegetables can be used in warm strews or soups (This Suan Cai Yu is a great example).

Chinese pickled cucumber with soy sauce and vinegar

For a shorter time pickled cucumber salad, check this spicy pickled cucumber salad. And we have another great smashed cucumber salad in Chinese cuisine.

Chinese pickled cucumber with soy sauce and vinegar

Pickled Cucumber with Soy Sauce and Vinegar

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Cucumber
Calories: 29kcal
Author: Elaine


  • 500 g fresh cucumbers , tenders one are highly recommended
  • 100 ml light soy sauce
  • 50 ml Chinese black vinegar
  • 70 ml clean water
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • sesame seeds and sesame oil for serving , optional


  • Remove any tough skin from your cucumber. Clean and drain.
  • In a deep pot, add light soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, water and ginger slices. Bring the content to boil and then blanch the cucumber for around 15 seconds.
  • Transfer the cucumber along with the liquid to a clean container (cleaned and no oil). Add peeled garlic and cover the lid and set aside for 2 days.
  • Cut the cucumber into slices and decorate with roasted sesame seeds.
  • If you prefer a more moist taste, mix the cucumber slices with drops of sesame oil.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 1120mg | Potassium: 185mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Chinese pickled cucumber with soy sauce and vinegar

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  1. Hi Elaine, just want to check if it’s possible to re-use the soy sauce pickling liquid for another batch? Tks in advance as I am preparing my cucumbers for this pickle.

      1. ooh that’s great Elaine. I just tasted mine this evening during dinner and it was delicious and so appetizing. I also tried with white radish slices, it was awesome too. Is it ok to leave them still in the sauce or do we take them out after two days n refrigerate those not eaten yet?

  2. Hello Elaine,
    I have been in China for almost 10 years, I just love Chinese food. I can cook some dishes myself but you website is great help . I want to be greedy and ask for the recipe of TIAN SUAN (Garlic in vinegar that is sweet, sour)….. Wish you can share it with me. It was a side item I enjoyed alot with hotpot.

    1. Hello Sha Xi,
      Pickled garlic is one of my favorite pickles too. I ate a lot when I was in Xi’an, mostly with Pao Mo and noodles. I will draw up a post with the instructions. It actually is quite easy.

  3. Hi Elaine,

    I just came around to making these, now they are sitting on my windowsill and I’m wondering if I should just leave them there for the two days or put them in the fridge after they have cooled down. (It’s around twenty degrees Celsius right now in the open).

    I truly love pickled cucumber. They come in two different flavors over here. The one in some kind of brine which also has a rich amount of garlic on them and undergo a Sauerkraut/Kimchi like fermentation. The other one which is more like your recipe pickled in vinegar, but these most of the time have spices IE mustard seeds, allspice, pepper and onions added.

    This made me wonder if I maybe should add some fresh chili next time. What do you think?

    1. Hi Andreas,
      I will prefer to set them in fridge in summer days and you can add some fresh chilis next time. I am introducing a very basic traditional Chinese way of pickling cucumber in vinegar and soy sauce. Anyway, I suggest you test it firstly and see whether it is necessary to add some fresh chili, as it is quite satisfying to me so far.

      1. Hi Elaine,

        you are right. They taste great that way. Just yesterday I made the second batch following your recipe.
        Definitely something to have in store as a quick and easy side dish.

        1. Agree Andreas! It is fresh so great as a quick side dish especially for summer when I do not want to stand in front of the heat. I always have two bottles by hand, serving one or two as a side dish to porridge.

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Elaine,

    every summer now I always keep a glass of pickled cucumbers ready. But after having done this recipe a couple of times I’m wondering about the amount of liquids you posted in this recipe. I’ve never been able to cover 500g of cucumbers in 220ml of cooking liquid to blanch them (It immediately ceases boiling).

    Also for this amount of cucumbers, I can barely fit them into a canning jar of 15cm height and about 10cm diameter (roughly 1liter). When I pour the liquid over it they are barely covered up to half their size. So I always almost doubled the amount of liquid to get the cucumbers somewhat submerged.

    Now my results where always great, but I think I’m doing something wrong.

    1. Andreas,
      I will double check this recipe after finishing my family travel around 10 days later. I cannot recall all the details right now. Please keep returning.

      1. 5 stars
        I wish you a nice travel Elaine. Have fun, I’ll surely check back for your answer.

        Oh and please excuse my curiosity, I sure hope this is not impolite to ask. But is your travel related to Are there maybe any particular recipes which are traditionally done for this occasion which you might want to share?

        1. Sorry Andreas, I have less knowledge about this festival. The only festival I watch from people around me is ancestor worship. But no special food found.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe sounds so delicious! I’ve been wanting to explore the different options when it comes to pickling. I can’t wait to try. Thank you for sharing!

  6. This recipe sounds incredible! I’ve been wanting to explore the different options when it comes to pickling. I can’t wait to try. Thank you for sharing!