These tangy pickled cucumbers from chef Erik Bruner-Yang have the perfect balance of tart (citrus juice and rice vinegar), spicy (chiles and Sichuan peppercorns) and sweet (honey). While Bruner-Yang uses yuzu juice, this streamlined, more-accessible home version calls for a combination of fresh lime and grapefruit juices.
Slideshow:Pickled Vegetable Recipes
1 1/2 pounds Kirby cucumbers—peeled in stripes, halved lengthwise, seeded
and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup white soy sauce (see Note)
3 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
3 dried hot chiles, such as Chinese
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 star anise pod
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
How to Make It
Fill a large heatproof jar with the cucumbers. Add the vinegar, white soy sauce, grapefruit juice, lime juice, honey, sambal oelek and 1 cup of water.
In a skillet, toast the chiles, cloves, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the hot spices to the jar, cover and shake until evenly distributed. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Look for white soy sauce, a lighter-colored soy sauce, at Asian markets.
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