Chyuka Kyuri Tsukemono (Chinese Style Pickled Cucumber)

Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Blog, Chinese Cuisine Favorites, Family Favorites, Japanese Cuisine Favorites, Salad, Slider, Vegetables & Vegetarian | 11 comments


Today, I share with you a Chinese style pickled cucumber that is very easy to make and it’s so simple that you’ll definitely want to give it a try. I love the flavor of fresh cucumber slices, and chyuka kyuri no tsukemono is one of my favorite ways to enjoy cucumber.

In Japanese cuisine, there are so many variations of kyuri no tsukemono, or pickled cucumbers, it will make your head spin. I’ve eaten countless variations that my Mom has made over the years and she’ll simply make a slight ingredient change from one batch to the next, such as adding yuzu, or konbu, or shoyu, or togarashi, or even sugarthe possibilities are endless.

One of my favorites, however, is a variation of my Mom’s shoyu kyuri no tsukemono (pickled cucumbers seasoned with soy sauce) that my Auntie Sumiko made for us at a BBQ sometime last year. She added goma abura (sesame oil) which makes the Japanese pickled cucumbers, in Japanese culture, “chyuka” or Chinese – style, hence the title of today’s post, “Chinese Style Pickled Cucumbers”.

* * * * * * * *

This past weekend my brother-in-law came over and did a photo shoot for my blog. I’m not the best photographer, and for me, a camera falls under the category of “technology”, and therefore is a serious challenge.

I’ve been trying to take better pictures for my blog, and I can thankfully say that my photos have improved slightly since I started my blog two years ago (some of my earlier shots were quite awful), but I’ve found that photography, for me, is still a challenge and something that I would very much like to improve upon. The photo below is one that I took, and can proudly say is an improvement over some of my more embarrassing food shots.

Fortunately, the brother of my brother’s wife, is a great photographer. He’s really my brother’s brother-in-law, but I always refer to him as my brother-in-law. I was very lucky that Hideki agreed to shoot some of my food for me. Apparently, my brother and sister-in-law didn’t invite him to yesterday’s Dodger game because they found out he was shooting food for me. Oops, sorry Hideki!

In some of my upcoming posts, you’ll see his photography featured on my blog, and you’ll recognize his photos immediately, as those will look REALLY GREAT, as opposed to some of my photos that are hopefully starting to look a little better. I’ve featured a few of his photos here and there around my blog: Oshogatsu’12Oshogatsu ’11 and Girl’s Day ’12. You can see his full portfolio on Flickr, Hideki Ueha.

Happy Monday!



4.5 from 2 reviews
Chyuka Kyuri Tsukemono | Chinese Style Pickled Cucumber
Serves: 4
  • 2 Japanese cucumbers (or other thin-skinned cucumber)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried wagiri red chili pepper (sliced in small rings), optional
  1. Slice cucumbers into large bite-sized pieces. Place in a sealable (Ziplock) bag or a plastic container that can be tightly, and securely sealed.
  2. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil and mix well. Add dried red chili pepper slices for some heat.
  3. Pour the mixture over the cucumber pieces and shake the bag or tupperware until the cucumbers are well-coated.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours, periodically mixing the cucumbers to ensure the pieces are evenly coated. The meat of the cucumber will begin to absorb the color of the soy sauce, at which point, they should be ready to eat.
  5. NOTE: If you keep your chyuka kyuri no tsukemono in the marinade for 4 - 5 days in the fridge, they will begin to shrivel and they will likely become very salty. I prefer to eat mine the same day that I make them, or within a day or two of making them at the most. You also have the option to discard the marinade once your chyuka kyuri no tsukemono reaches the desired flavor that suits your palate. This will prevent the cucumbers from becoming too salty.


  1. avatar

    I love, love pickled cucumbers but would you believe I’ve never attempted them at home? I’m going to try this one for sure. How can I not? It’s so easy!

    Great pictures, Judy! I’ve been following your BIL’s Flickr account–great stuff! I feel the same way about technology so don’t feel bad. We all take baby steps approaching things we’re not comfortable with. Your pictures have always been appetizing to me. :)

    • avatar

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, Jean. :) Hope you will enjoy the cucumbers! Cheers!

  2. avatar

    Mmmm. I love these pickles. You’ ve reminded me I haven’t made them in awhile. Denis and Jamie don’t eat cucumbers. Crazy, right? But I can easily eat the whole thing myself!
    Beautiful photo!

    • avatar

      Thank you! What? No cucumbers?!? We all love cucumbers at our home so we all ate these last night. :)

  3. avatar

    Judy, Nice photo of the cucumbers. I too, love cucumber pickles and my older daughter really likes them too. She likes hers with wakame and miso. They are great for bento.

    • avatar

      Thank you so much for the compliment. I think my mom has made something similar with miso and wakame. I will have to try that soon. :)

  4. avatar

    Judy – I am a Sansei – my Nisei mom married my Kibei father. I found your site by accident – I was googling “Okazu” and decided to check out your awesome yummy recipes. Your pictures really add so much. I have made these pickles countless times – they are so simple and delicious. I have to stop myself from eating the whole thing. Previous to the internet, we had to depend on various Japanese-American cookbooks mainly compiled by church groups. I have a ton of them. Thank you for taking the time to share your recipes and to celebrate our heritage.

    • avatar

      Hi Ayako, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment for me. Your kind words are inspiring and a wonderful reminder of why I continue to maintain my blog despite the fact that I am often pressed for time or not in the mood to cook anything “fancy”. I hope to see you again around the site. Thank you again. :) – Judy

      • avatar

        Hey this is a great recipe but the japanese cucumber and the pepper are hard for me to get are there any other cucumbers and peplers i can use?

        • avatar

          Any type of cucumber may be substituted for this recipe. As for the chili pepper, any dried red chili pepper may also be substituted.

  5. avatar

    I made this with english cucumber and red chili pepper and it worked out great, but next time i will add more pepper.


  1. Wonton Soup | Bebe Love Okazu - [...] Hideki’s photo of my yaki nasu | grilled Japanese eggplant made it onto FoodGawker! And my chyuka kyuri tsukemono…

Please Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: