Saturday, June 28, 2014


We eat quite a lot of gherkins (aka pickles) - in sandwiches, salads etc. so every year I plant a few seeds and hope to get enough pickling cucumbers to make a decent batch of gherkins.  In general I get a reasonable number and the rainy season hits and the vines all shrivel up and die.  Usually I am grateful for this as there are only so many gherkins that can be used in one year... (Un)fortunately this year my great tunnel house is meaning that the rainy season is here, but there is no effect on the pickling cucumbers.  They are producing nicely every day.... every single day....   
I think this morning's batch of gherkins was the fourth for the year and now the outside ones have also started producing I'm thinking it may be time to accidentally slip when I am weeding them and pull the odd vine or two out!
I have tried many different recipes but my favourite one is one that Dad got from one of his friends.  Very easy and very delicious!

For 2kg (I just vary it depending on how many I have at the time)

Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of salt over the pickling cucumbers and cover with cold water.  Leave for 24 hours then drain.

Boil together:
3 cups vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons celery salt (I use seed)
4 teaspoons mustard seeds
Sprinkle of dill seeds
2 large cloves of garlic - crushed

Add the gherkins and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft.  Watch carefully - I usually don't boil it very long at all as they seem to shrivel when they cool.  I tend to just wait till they have changed colour.  Bottle and store for 6 weeks before eating.  They will last for many years if you have sealed them properly...


  1. The recipe produces great pickled gherkins - I have tasted Jo's and processed my own, and never had a failure. They keep very well too. I have just given my mother a big jar which must be at least 3 years old!

  2. Jo, what is your source for canning supplies in Japan?

    1. Sorry I didn't reply sooner... I don't buy any special equipment for bottling. I just use jars that I have been given or that have had other things in them. For gherkins I find that even coffee jars work fine - in fact they are pretty good as they have a plastic lid and therefore the vinegar doesn't corrode them like it does eventually with the metal ones.