1.4 to 1.6 kg of pickles
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Cool down from the heat with these pickles prepared restaurant-style – they are sweet, tart and crunchy, making them the perfect appetiser before your savoury Asian dishes.  


Pickling brine

  • 500 ml water
  • 250 ml white distilled vinegar (above left)
  • 250 g sugar
  • 1½ tsps sea salt (above right)


  • 1 kg green cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots, about 300 g in total
  • 2 Japanese cucumbers, about 300 g in total
  • 75 g sea salt
  • 5 to 6 large red chillies
  • 3 to 4 large cloves garlic

Place all the ingredients for the pickling brine in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Turn off the heat. Taste and add more vinegar, sugar or salt if needed. Let the pickle brine cool completely before using.


Remove the outer layer of leaves from the head of cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters. Slice off the core from each piece and cut crosswise into 1.5 cm-wide slices. Place the cabbage in a large mixing bowl or plastic basin, separating the leaves as you drop them in.


Peel the carrots, slice on the diagonal and then cut into matchsticks pieces. Cut the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise, slice off and discard the core, where the seeds are, and slice on the diagonal. Mix the carrots and cucumbers in with the cabbage. Add the salt and toss the vegetables thoroughly. Let them sit at room temperature for 40 mins. Halfway through that time, give the vegetables another toss.


While waiting, slice the chillies on the diagonal. Peel and slice the garlic thinly.


After 40 mins, the vegetables would have released a fair amount of water (below) and are bendable. Rinse twice under running water. Grab a handful of vegetables, squeeze out the excess water and place the vegetables in a colander. Continue until all the vegetables are in the colander. Rinse out and dry the mixing bowl or plastic basin and place the vegetables back in it. Add the chillies and garlic, toss to mix thoroughly.


Pack the vegetables into clean glass jars. Ladle the pickling brine over the vegetables, making sure the vegetables are submerged. Cap the jars and refrigerate at least 24 hours before eating. Always remove pickles from the jar using a clean pair of chopsticks.

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