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Learn How to Make Simple Pickled Vegetables

Get Caught in a Pickle!

Every time I visit my mom, she always sends me home with jars of her homemade pao tsai, aka pickled vegetables. Hers are sort of like kimchee and they're a little bit spicy and a little bit sweet. Last week, when I visited my mom, she only had one jar to hand over and demanded that I give it to my sister. Her reasoning was that my sister was busy and that I could just make my own. I couldn't really argue with her and decided to prove to her that I could. The technique is actually really simple and quick — it took about 15 minutes to make, plus a day to sit — and the results are pretty nice. See the recipe I used — just tweak it to suit your own palate — when you


Pao Tsai - Pickled Vegetables

Pao Tsai - Pickled Vegetables

Pao Tsai - Pickled Vegetables


  1. 8 mini cucumbers (or 4 regular sized ones, I prefer the English kind as they're crispier)
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 4 dried chili peppers (more or less to taste)
  4. 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
  5. 1 cup sugar


  1. Peel cucumbers and cut them into smaller pieces. Mine were about 1 1/2 inches long each.
  2. In a bowl dissolve sugar into vinegar. Add garlic and seeds from chili peppers.
  3. Put cucumbers and hot peppers into a vessel or jar. Top with liquid mixture.
  4. Close jar and put into fridge overnight. Let sit at least 24 hours if not longer. The flavor will get stronger as it sits.
  5. Enjoy!

This recipe is very flexible, if you don't like spice, don't add peppers, if you want more garlic, add it. You can also add radishes, carrots and other country veggies to the mix.

Sugar, White Vinegar, Mini Cucumbers, Garlic, Hot Peppers

Peeled Cucumbers

Peeled cucumbers cut into smaller pieces

Add garlic to the liquid.

Add the seeds to the liquid

Mix sugar, vinegar, garlic and peppers together.

Put the cucumbers and hot peppers into a jar or large sealable vessel.

Add liquid to vessel.

Close up the pao-tsai and put in the fridge. The longer it sits, the yummier it is. It can last a little while, but mine are usu
yayITZdre yayITZdre 9 years
omg...yum! my mom used to make this and put them in my school lunches!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I hate pickles.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
yummy. I love anything pickled.
oh-cecilia-baby oh-cecilia-baby 9 years
this looks like a delicious snack. yaaaay!
verily verily 9 years
Oooh, this sounds yummy. When the cucumber crop starts rolling in this summer, I'll be sure to give this one a try.
emalove emalove 9 years
Yummy! My best friend's mom did something like this when we were it.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 9 years
Thanks Yum! I'll probably make some this weekend.
nancita nancita 9 years
These look delicious and fresh and yummy. I've always been intimidated by pickling, but this actually looks like a pretty simple process.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
I'll eat anything pickled but pigs' feet. This is so simple, I'll give it a try.
meijan415 meijan415 9 years
can't wait to try this!
Food Food 9 years
FinnLover - not really sure, my mom has hers for a few weeks, but she tends to make smaller batches so it's always fresh. msjean - that is a great idea, they were a bit waterlogged, sesame oil sounds like a divine touch too!
sonnabobble sonnabobble 9 years
sounds yummy, but no peppers for me!
msjean msjean 9 years
Yum. this is more work but i salt the cucumbers first for 15 mins and rinse in order to draw out water. also, i like fresh squeezed lemon juice for a brighter acid taste than vinegar. i also splash soy sauce and sesame oil on mine.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 9 years
Looks really good. I'll have to try this recipe. How long does it stay good for?
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