How To Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 26/02/2022 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 15 minutes
Total 35 minutes
Learn how to make quick pickled vegetables with just about any vegetable! These refrigerator quick pickled veggies are the perfect pairing to your sandwiches, hotdogs, bbq and more!
How To Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

Learn how to make quick-pickled vegetables with just about any vegetable! These refrigerator-quick pickled veggies are the perfect pairing to your sandwiches, hotdogs, bbq, and more!

Jars of vegetables pickling on a counter.

Let’s dispel the biggest pickling myth: Pickling is really difficult and time-consuming. This misconception stems from the confusion between pickling with canning versus pickling with brine. In actuality, quick pickling can be as easy as making a brine, pouring it over chopped vegetables in a container, and refrigerating them. Today, I am sharing with you the ultimate guide on how to make quick-pickled veggies so that you will have a comprehensive understanding of quick-pickling vegetables!

Quick pickled vegetables are perfect for picnics because they go with Korean chicken wings, Japanese hot dogs, and chicken katsu curry sliders. They are also the perfect pairing for Vietnamese dishes such as Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef) and Banh Mi Hot Dogs. The added tangy zing with an added crunch can brighten up a savory and rich dish instantly.

Let’s get pickling!

Looking down at a jar of radishes pickling with other vegetables pickling nearby.

The Basics of Pickling 101

Pickling is the process of preserving vegetables and fruit either by fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. The pickling procedure involves preserving vegetables in an acid solution that typically uses vinegar or salt. There are multiple variations of pickling that are very different.

  1. Quick Pickling involves brining and marinating the vegetables for short-term storage. Quick pickling involves a brine that creates an anaerobic environment that produces lactic acid to preserve the food.
  2. Canning requires a stronger pickle brine and a hot water bath. This method allows for longer-term storage but requires more technical steps. This is typically how the cucumber pickles you find at your grocery store are made.
A jar of sliced cucumbers in a brine for pickling.

Kitchen Equipment

  • Heat-proof mixing bowl: You will need a heat proof mixing bowl to mix together the brine.
  • Airtight Glass Jars: you will need airtight glass jars to hold the refrigerator-pickled veggies. I like to use either mason jars or glass jars with a clasp for the best airtight container that won’t leak out any unwanted odor in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • Boiling Water: the water dilutes the vinegar making it more palatable to taste. You will need boiling or very hot water to dissolve the sugar in the vinegar.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: For this recipe, I went with rice wine vinegar for a more mild and slightly sweet flavor. It is a staple ingredient in many Asian dishes. Compared to white vinegar, rice vinegar is less acidic with a delicate flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar: sugar sweetens the vinegar and softens the sour flavor from the vinegar. You can adjust the sweetness based on your preferences.
  • Kosher Salt: the salt brings out the flavor of the rice vinegar and aids in brining the vegetable.
  • Vegetables of choice: I used red onions, carrots, daikon, radishes, and cucumbers. But you can alternatively use any vegetables you prefer.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Vinegar: Instead of rice wine vinegar, you can substitute it out for regular white distilled vinegar. The flavors will be a little more acidic, sharp and tangy.
  • Garlic or Ginger: you can always add crushed garlic or sliced ginger to your pickling solution for a more flavor.
  • Spices: you can add red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, whole all spice, celery sees, peppercorns, cumin seeds, star anise etc for added flavor.
  • Herbs: if you want to freshen up your pickling solution with herbs you can always add a few fresh sprigs of dill, bay leaves, thyme etc.

How to Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

Now let’s get to the core part of this post. There are only three quick easy steps in how to make quick pickled veggies which can all be done in under 20 minutes!

  1. Make the brine. Combine the boiling water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes or until room temperature.
Mixing together a brine for pickling.
  1. Prepare the vegetables. While the brine is cooling, slice and chop up your vegetables and place them in your glass jar.
  1. Pickle the vegetables. Pour the brine over the vegetables, cover and refrigerate.
Filling jars of sliced vegetables with brine to pickle.
  1. Serve. You can eat the pickles immediately, but they will taste better once they’ve had time to sit about 3-4 days at minimum and up to a week for full flavor.
Jars of vegetables quick pickling on a counter.

Tips for the Best Quick Pickled Vegetables

  • Chose fresh vegetables: I am a sucker for the farmer’s market. I love going to the farmer’s market and choosing the freshest vegetables of the season. I truly believe nothing tastes better than farm-to-table vegetables from the farmer’s market. If a farmer’s market isn’t accessible near you, no problem! Simply choose the best-looking vegetables at your local grocery store.
  • Boil the water: it is important that you use hot water to dissolve the sugar and fully incorporate all the flavors together.
  • Taste the brine and alter it based on your flavor preferences: if the brine is too sweet for your liking, add more rice wine vinegar. If it is too bold, add more water. If the brine is not sweet enough, add more sugar and mix until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
  • Label your jars with the date: this will help remind you to keep track as to when you made these pickled veggies.

Storage Instructions

You can store these quick pickled vegetables in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks to 1 month.

Frequently Asked Q’s and A’s

What vegetables are good pickled?

Potential pickles include cauliflower, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, daikon, fennel, cabbage, jalapeños, Thai chilis, shallots onions, beets, celery, or turnips. Almost anything. In addition, you can also pickle fruits such as apples, pears, cantaloupe, watermelon, cherries, grapes, etc.

In reality, there are probably fewer vegetables and fruits that can’t pickle than those that do.

What are the benefits of pickled vegetables?

Quick pickled veggies not only retain their vitamins and minerals when they are pickled but they also gain a few benefits. Pickled vegetables contain probiotics that are good for digestion, your immune system and prevent inflammation.

Do you have to boil the vinegar for pickling?

Boiling your brine (vinegar mixture) will allow the flavors to meld together. However, this is not the only method to do so. Alternatively, you can mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt with boiling water in a mixing bowl and stir until the water dissolves.

How long do pickled vegetables last?

Quick-pickled vegetables can last for up to 3 weeks to a month.

How do you store pickled vegetables?

You can store pickled vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I prefer to use glass mason jars or jars with a clasp lid which are very airtight and do not seep out any smells that might contaminate your refrigerator.

Did you make these quick pickled vegetables?

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Recipe

Jars of vegetables quick pickling on a counter.

How To Make Quick Pickled Vegetables

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cool Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Learn how to make quick pickled vegetables with just about any vegetable! These refrigerator quick pickled veggies are the perfect pairing to your sandwiches, hotdogs, bbq and more!
Servings: 3 people
Print Recipe

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cup boiling water
  • 1 ¼ cup rice wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon salt
  • Vegetables of choice sliced, chopped and prepared

Instructions

  • Make the brine. Combine the boiling water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes or until room temperature.
  • Prepare the vegetables. While the brine is cooling, slice and chop up your vegetables and place them in your glass jar.
  • Pickle the vegetables. Pour the brine over the vegetables, cover and refrigerate.
  • Serve. You can eat the pickles immediately, but they will taste better once they’ve had time to sit about 3-4 days at minimum and up to a week for full flavor.

Notes

  • Chose fresh vegetables: I am a sucker for the farmer’s market. I love going to the farmer’s market and choosing the freshest vegetables of the season. I truly believe nothing tastes better than farm-to-table vegetables from the farmer’s market. If a farmer’s market isn’t accessible near you, no problem! Simply choose the best-looking vegetables at your local grocery store.
  • Boil the water: it is important that you use hot water to dissolve the sugar and fully incorporate all the flavors together.
  • Taste the brine and alter it based on your flavor preferences: if the brine is too sweet for your liking, add more rice wine vinegar. If it is too bold, add more water. If the brine is not sweet enough, add more sugar and mix until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
  • Label your jars with the date: this will help remind you to keep track as to when you made these pickled veggies.

Nutrition:

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Sodium: 3550mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 53g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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