Sweet and Spicy Pickles

spicy sweet pickles2

One of my sisters loved pickles when we were growing up. Actually, I think she still loves them. At least some of her friends are under that impression-I think she got a 2 gallon jug of them (If those exist?!) for a recent birthday.

Me on the other hand, well, it’s only recently I’ve come to appreciate pickled fare-but now I’m a taker of just about anything-cucumbers, carrots, jalapenos, cauliflower…you name it and I’ll gladly take it off your hands…if you were the pickler that is.

There’s just such a taste difference when you pickle your own vegetables to when you buy a jar in the supermarket. I would imagine there is a considerable amount of salt in your average store-bought version, which might explain part of it.

Anyway, living in China, we sometimes don’t know what we are buying and it turns out the zucchini we thought we’d turn into a tasty stir-fry was actually cucumber and I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I had had Sichuan peppers in the fridge for a week and they were in need of using and I had all of a sudden acquired cucumbers, but didn’t feel like a salad…

Enter the pickle.


spicy sweet pickles3

Yes, you’ll do the trick. Heck, you might even take away that ridiculous craving I’ve had for potato chips…



  • 2 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2-2 cucumbers
  • Handful of Sichuan peppers  (approximately 1 cup)


Boil everything together until your cucumbers turn a faded color of green. They should look kind of soggy (sorry, that isn’t a very appetizing word for food, I know) while they are hot. The best way to know if they are done is to taste them. For a small tupperware container full, it probably won’t take longer than 30 minutes.

Also, I love vinegar-I have reduced the vinegar amount just slightly based on my husband’s recommendations. If the vinegar is still too strong for you, just add water one half cup at a time.


If hamburgers aren’t your thing, or your grill is broken or whatever reason you’d have for not making a hamburger to go with your pickles…stay tuned for a tasty salad idea that will really highlight your tangy treasures.

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