Alex's book of recipes

Refrigerator pickles

Basic fridge-pickled cucumbers.


1kg small cucumbers

250g pure salt

2 tbsp whole mustard seeds

1 tbsp whole allspice

1 tbsp whole juniper berries

2 tsp coriander seeds

5 whole cloves

2 bay leaves, divided

1 small (2-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

350ml distilled white vinegar at 5% acidity

30g pure salt

2 tbsp whole mustard seed

1/4 medium onion, sliced

4 medium cloves garlic

2 small hot chilies


Wash cucumbers and trim the flower end (opposite stem) from the pickles. Then soak the pickles in a brine containing 63g of salt per litre. Soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the pickling mixture by combining the mustard seeds, allspice, juniper berries, coriander, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick.

In a medium non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel), per 1kg of pickles add 350ml white vinegar, 475ml water, 30g salt, and 1 tbsp of the prepared pickling mixture. Set over medium heat and bring to approximately 50°C, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes, then strain spices, reserving the pickling liquid.

Meanwhile, thoroughly wash 2 litres of jars per 1kg pickles and rinse well. Evenly divide the onion, garlic, 2 tbsp mustard seed, and hot chilies between the jars. Pack each jar with cucumbers, making sure the cucumbers do not rise above the shoulder of the jar and rest firmly in place. You can cut larger cucumbers into spears for easier packing. Pour the cooled brine into the jar, making sure the cucumbers are completely covered.

Close the jars, transfer to refrigerator, and leave for 3 weeks. The pickles will last up to 2 months.


Table salt often has additives, so it is best to use "pure" or "pickling" salt for this recipe.

You can use many other vegetables, or modify the spice mixture as you wish.