Sesame-Lemon Pickled Cucumbers

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With a simple cold brine of water, vinegar, sugar, and salt, this pickle recipe is open to so many additional layers of flavor. Here, that’s thin slices of fresh lemon, some green chile, and sesame seeds (black or white). The cold brine keeps the cuke slices extra-crunchy. It’s also our go-to method for pickling thinly sliced fennel, cauliflower florets, quartered radishes, or thinly sliced celery.

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Makes about 1 quart


lb. kirby, Persian, or English hothouse cucumbers, sliced ½” thick


lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed


small green chile (such as serrano), thinly sliced


2″ piece ginger, peeled, julienned

cups unseasoned rice vinegar


cup sugar


tsp. Diamond Crystal or 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt


Tbsp. sesame seeds

Special equipment

A 1-qt. glass jar with a lid

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