Fermented Swedish Cucumber


Preparation info

  • 2 litre

    • Difficulty


Appears in



By Asa Simonsson

Published 2019

  • About

Fermenting cucumbers can be a challenge. This is because they are very watery and their pectin gets broken down very quickly, often leaving them mushy. The best cucumbers to use are small English hothouse cucumbers or Kirby cucumbers. Kirby cucumbers are usually small so you can pickle them whole, which prevents them from going mushy. Another way of preventing them from getting too soft is to add something high in tannin that will reinforce the pectin in the cucumbers. This can be done by adding oak leaves, blackcurrant leaves or grape leaves. More salt will also help, as well as adding some sliced carrots or horseradish. All traditional tricks, discovered over the years. If you can’t find the types of cucumbers suggested then try the cucumbers you can find, and see how they turn out.

Something that occurs now and then on my fermented cucumbers is top yeast. This is a white milky covering on top of your ferment and sometimes at the bottom of the jar. It is not dangerous but doesn’t taste nice and it means your ferment will not keep for long, so eat it up quickly. The reason for top yeast can be too little salt or too warm a fermentation temperature, which can happen during the summer.

This recipe is a classic and will absolutely become one of your favourite ferments. It is so versatile and can be eaten with almost anything. In Sweden, it is a traditional accompaniment with meatballs and summer herring. I love it on a piece of sourdough toast with nut cheese, avocado and salad.