How to Make Sour Pickles

Sour pickles are very common in Asian cuisines, especially Korean cuisine. The term sour pickle refers to pickles that are usually served with meals. There are two types of pickles: sweet and sour. Sweet pickles are typically eaten alone or with other savory dishes. In contrast, sour pickles are often served with rice or noodles.

Learning how to make sour pickles is fun to learn about the food culture. This recipe uses a traditional method of making pickles especially when you have a crowd to feed. The first bite you take of your own homemade pickle will undoubtedly bring forth the words “how delicious!” You will note that the sour pickle recipe is simple to prepare, and the flavor will be puckeringly nice.

What are Sour Pickles

Sour pickles are made from cucumbers that have been soaked in brine for at least three days. They are then drained and sliced into thin strips. They’re left to sit in the vinegar for several weeks to make them more pucker-inducing.

The process of making sour pickles is quite similar to making kimchi. Kimchi is also known as Korean pickled cabbage. It’s a fermented dish that Koreans have enjoyed since ancient times.

In Korea, sour pickles are commonly referred to as ggakdugi. They can be found in most grocery stores throughout the country.

However, for some, the best sour pickles come from the North Carolina mountains, where the climate is cool enough that the cucumber can be stored without spoiling. But you can also buy them canned or bottled.

What Ingredients are Needed for Sour Pickles

Here are the most basic ingredients needed for sour pickles:

  • Non-waxed pickling cucumbers
  • Peppercorns
  • Fresh dill
  • Yellow mustard seeds
  • Cloves garlic
  • Chilies
  • Leaves From Vine
  • Sea salt

How to Make Sour Pickles

Making Sour Pickles The Eay Way
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Amercian
Keyword: sour pickles
Yield: 4 people


  • 1 Collander
  • 1 Bowl


  • 1 piece cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups vinegar


  • Wash Cucumbers
    Wash your fresh cucumbers thoroughly under running water. Remove any blemishes on their skin. Next, slice off the ends of the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers lengthwise into halves or quarters. Cut each half or quarter crosswise into long slices.
  • Soak Cucumbers in Brine
    Place the fresh cucumbers in a large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover the cucumbers. Let the cucumbers soak overnight.
  • Drain and Rinse Cucumbers
    Drain the cucumbers in a colander. Rinse the cucumbers well under running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Sprinkle Salt over Cucumbers
    Sprinkle salt over the cucumbers. Place the cucumbers in a clean container. Cover the container tightly with plastic wrap. Store the container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Prepare Vinegar
    Combine one cup of distilled white vinegar with one tablespoon of sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.
  • Chop Dill
    Remove the stems from the sprigs fresh dill sprigs. Finely chop the dill using a sharp knife. Set aside.
  • Crush Pepper
    Crush peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Transfer the crushed black pepper to a small bowl. Stir in the yellow mustard seeds. Set aside.
    Note: If you don't have a spice mill, place the peppercorns in a coffee grinder and grind coarsely.
  • Combine Other Ingredients
    Heat the vinegar mixture in a medium skillet over high heat. When it comes to a boil, remove the pan from heat.
    Add the chopped dill and clove garlic to the hot vinegar. Mix well. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers.
    Cover the container tightly with plastic film. Refrigerate for two weeks before serving.

Tips for Making Sour Pickles

1) You may want to add more sea salt or Kosher salt than what is called for in this recipe. This will depend on how salty your pickles taste.

2) For best results, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature when preparing the brine.

3) Use only non-waxed pickled cucumbers for best results.

4) The longer you let the delicious pickles sit in the fridge, the better they’ll get.

5) Don’t worry about the amount of vinegar used. It’s not necessary to measure out exact amounts of anything.

6) Feel free to experiment with other spices such as celery seed, fennel seed, caraway seed, cumin seed, coriander seed, etc.

How Many Hours or Days To Ferment Pickles
How Many Hours or Days To Ferment Pickles

How Long Should I Let Them Ferment?

You can leave your pickles in the jar for up to three months during the fermentation process. They’re best after two weeks, but they’ll keep for much longer if stored properly.

To store your pickles, simply transfer them to an airtight container. Keep them in the refrigerator.

What Makes Dill Pickle Different from A Sour Pickle?

A dill pickle has no added vinegar, while a sour pickle uses vinegar. A dill pickle is usually served chilled, while a sour pickle is typically served warm or at room temperature.

Which Pickles Are the Most Sour

The most sour pickles include those made with raw apple cider vinegar. These pickles tend to be very tart and pungent.