RECIPES: Taiwanese Pickles

Recipe | Matt Murtagh-Wu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Matt’s Kitchen · Gear | Leica

Agood pickle should always be simple. Any other way would seem redundant, contrary to its disposition; rather ironically, constituting a pickle. Wondrous cultures, dating back to marvellous Mesopotamia, have recoursed to pickling as an ingenious means of preserving vegetables, meats, eggs and fruit. Today’s zeitgeist witnesses a celebration [dare we say, a renaissance] of pickles for its ancillary purposes—its flavour, texture, and in certain cases, the resulting vibrancy in colour.

Matt’s Taiwanese rendition is the perfect palette cleanser for any [rich in fat] meal—briny, crunchy goodness that also delivers a lashing hit of heat to the drunken tongue. We’d champion anyone who attempts this delicious, no frills recipe, as doing so would result in a hat tip to the venerable tradition of keeping things alive.


1 English cucumber
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated or minced
Salt (to taste)
2-3 tbsp of white vinegar (or to taste)
½ tbsp brown sugar
2 minced bird’s eye chilis aka thai chilis

Method [Recipe serves 6 as an appetizer]

01. Slice the cucumber into 1” by 1/2” long strips [or circles, if desired].

02. In a mixing bowl, salt cucumbers liberally, toss, and rest in fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.

03. Gently squeeze the cucumbers to dispel excess water. Rinse and taste for salt.

04. Transfer into a clean bowl and add the garlic, chilis and sugar. Add vinegar to taste.

05. Toss and taste to ensure the brine is balanced in saltiness, sweetness, heat, garlic, and sourness. If unbalanced, adjust brine to suit your palette.

07. Rest in fridge overnight. This pickle will keep up to 2 weeks in a clean, properly sealed container.

08. Enjoy pickle. Be proud of self.


Leave a Reply