japanese pickled cucumbers in a blue and white bowl land scape photo

This Japanese Pickled Cucumbers with Soy Sauce is a staple side dish in Japanese cuisine. A simple yet delicious way of serving cucumbers to accompany any meal! Pickled with ginger and chili for an extra kick.

japanese pickled cucumbers in a blue and white bowl angle shot

Something I’ve been enjoying a ton this summer are cucumbers, they’re in season so they have been so cheap! I love eating this crunchy vegetable as a snack dipped in hummus, chopped up in salads, sliced in sandwiches and my favourite: making Japanese Pickled Cucumbers in soy sauce! In Japanese, Pickled Cucumbers are called kyuri no tsukemono (きゅうりの漬物). Where kyuri = cucumbers and tsukemono = pickled. There are many ways to prepare Japanese pickles but today I’ll be sharing my favourite way and method.

japanese pickled cucumbers in soy sauce ingredients

Ingredients to make Japanese Pickled Cucumbers with Soy Sauce

My grandma used to always make Japanese pickled cucumbers with ginger. She also would sometimes add a red chili to make Japanese spicy pickled cucumbers, so lately I have been loving adding in both these ingredients to add extra flavour. In total, all you need at 6 ingredients!

steps to make cucumber tsukemono

How to make Japanese Pickled Cucumbers in Soy Sauce

There are many different ways of making Asian style pickled vegetables. The most common way is to just massage the cucumbers in salt and then throwing all the seasoning ingredients into a jar and letting that sit. There is also the method of quickly simmering the soy sauce seasoning and then pouring it onto the vegetables. The method I’ll be sharing today was passed down from my grandma and it requires just an additional (but worth it) step: simmering the cucumbers in the soy sauce-ginger marinade for around 5 minutes.

cucumbers simmering in soy sauce

What Other Vegetables can be used to make Japanese Tsukemono?

There are many other vegetables that can be made into tsukemono such as:

  • daikon (Japanese radish)
  • eggplant
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • broccoli stems
  • lotus root
  • zucchinis

Get creative and feel free to play around with your favourite vegetables!

cucumbers simmered in soy sauce marinade

How to Store Pickled Cucumbers

These Japanese pickled cucumbers should be stored in the fridge in an air tight container or jar for up to 10-12 days. I like to use these wide mouth mason jars! A tip to keep them from spoiling, use clean utensils to take a portion out so no bacteria starts to form.

japanese cucumber tsukemono in a blue and white bowl close up

And there you have it! An easy peasy homemade Japanese pickled cucumber recipe. Spicy, gingery and full of flavour. Enjoy as a side with some rice and use up those summer cucumbers while they last. I hope you try out making your own Japanese pickles and love it as much as I do!

japanese cucumber tsukemono in a blue and white bowl close up

More delicious side dishes to try:

japanese pickled cucumbers with soy sauce over rice

If you recreate this Japanese Pickled Cucumber recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

japanese pickled cucumbers made with soy sauce with rice

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Japanese Pickled Cucumbers |きゅうりの漬物

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5 from 7 reviews


This Japanese Pickled Cucumbers with Soy Sauce is a simple yet delicious way of serving cucumbers to accompany any meal! Pickled with ginger and chili for an extra kick.


Units Scale
  • 1 package of Japanese or Persian cucumbers (500g)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup soy sauce (225g)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar (40g)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar (130g)*
  • 2 thumbs of ginger, sliced thinly (30g)
  • 1 birds eye red chili pepper, sliced


  1. Chop the cucumbers into 1/2 inch pieces. Transfer the cucumbers into a large bowl and coat with salt. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes. 
  2. In the mean time, measure out the rest of the ingredients. Slice the red chili pepper and thinly slice the ginger. 
  3. Drain the excess liquid that the cucumbers have released and pat dry with a lint-free towel or paper towel. 
  4. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, coconut sugar, ginger and chili pepper over medium heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add in the cucumbers and bring the heat up to medium high. Allow the cucumbers to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool at room temperature. 
  5. Transfer pickled cucumbers into a large air tight jar and store in the fridge for up to 10-12 days. 


  • If using regular sugar, reduce to just 1/2 cup (100g) of sugar
  • Storage: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 10-12 days. I store mine in these sterile wide mouth mason jars
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Pickling
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup (100g)
  • Calories: 30
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 1500mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0g


japanese pickled cucumbers

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. What is “ 1 soy sauce “
    I realize you’ve put the portion in grams, but could you clarify if this! One is in teaspoons, cups, or packets