Quick Vegetable Pickles

So now it’s finally summer in Ann Arbor – 90s and HUMID. Perfect weather for cold pickles on the side of any meal. Here is an adaptation of a recipe from my son’s godmother – I’ve changed a few ingredients to make it more Chinese. You can use just about any pickling vegetables you like, and it’s a great way to use up those green tomatoes.

You will need to plan ahead for this, though – the pickles need to rest overnight at room temperature, then be refrigerated until completely chilled, so plan on 24 hours before they are ready to eat.  This will make approximately 2.5 lbs of pickles – they will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge (if you don’t eat them before that!)


You will need approximately 2.5 lbs of vegetables. Some of our favorites:

  • tomatoes (any color, including green), cut into 8ths
  • celery, cut into 1/2 x 1/2 x 2″ sticks
  • carrots, cut into 1/2 x 1/2 x 2″ sticks
  • bell peppers (any color), cut into 1″ dice
  • green beans, ends removed, blanched and shocked
  • jalapenos, cut into rounds

brine ingredients:

  • 1 qt water (4 c)
  • 1/2 c vinegar, rice wine or apple cider varieties are best
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 1.5 T sea salt
  • 3 T sugar, raw cane is preferable
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and gently crushed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, including stems, coarsely chopped


  1. Bring the water and vinegar to a boil, then add the peppercorns, coriander seeds, salt, and sugar, and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Place all the vegetables in a heat resistant glass bowl or container.
  3. Tuck the garlic cloves and cilantro into the vegetables.
  4. Pour the boiling brine over the vegetables, making sure that you have enough to submerge them entirely.
  5. Cover lightly and rest at room temperature overnight.
  6. Refrigerate until chilled, and serve as a cold side dish.

do ahead:

These pickles will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and their flavor will only improve with time.

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