Japanese Pickled Cucumbers with Shio Kombu

5 from 6 votes

This crunchy and refreshing Japanese Pickled Cucumbers are the perfect side dish when you’re looking for fresh and light flavors. Give it a try!

Looking for quick Japanese pickles? Try my Pickled Daikon, Nukazuke, and Pickled Japanese Eggplant!

Japanese pickled cucumbers served on a plate.

I’ll walk you through the ingredients and step-by-step instructions. I hope you enjoy it!

Why You Will Love This Recipe 

  • These pickled cucumbers are incredibly simple and require only two ingredients.
  • It’s quick to prepare and takes less than 5 minutes.
  • A refreshing accompaniment to your favorite Japanese dishes!

Japanese Pickled Cucumbers

Japanese pickled cucumbers, also known as “Tsukemono,” are a popular and refreshing side dish in Japanese cuisine. They are typically pickled in a mixture of salt, sugar, and vinegar. This recipe offers a quick version of tsukemono called Asazuke. Asazuke involves quick pickling or lightly pickling fresh vegetables for a short period of time, usually 30 minutes to a few hours.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make these Pickled Cucumbers:

Ingredients for cucumber asazuke (Japanese pickles)
  • Japanese Cucumbers are slim with a crunchy texture. If you cannot find them at your local store, Persian cucumbers, and English cucumbers are good substitutes.
  • Shio kombu is a Japanese seasoning made from dried kelp that is cut into thin, thread-like strips and seasoned with salt, sugar, and soy sauce. The seasoning creates a sweet yet savory taste that adds umami flavor to many dishes.

How To Make Pickled Cucumbers: STEP BY STEP 

Here are some quick visual instructions! For the video and all the detailed ingredients and instructions, go to the printable recipe card below.

How to make pickled cucumbers.

Step 1

Put cut cucumber and shio kombu in a plastic bag.

How to make pickled cucumbers.

Step 2

Seal the bag, massage, and pickle in the fridge.

cucumber asazuke (Japanese pickles) in a container

Open the bag, put the cucumbers in an airtight container, and enjoy! For extra flavor, you can leave it in the fridge overnight to soak up more taste.


To enhance the flavor of the pickled cucumbers, you can add in the following ingredients:

Add in flavors:

  • Sesame oil and sesame seeds: These will bring a nutty and roasted sesame aroma and flavor to the dish.
  • Ground garlic: Adding garlic will provide a savory and appetizing flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes: If you like your food spicy, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or chili peppers for some heat.
  • Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine and will provide a tangy taste to pickled cucumbers.
  • Kosher salt: Salt is an essential ingredient in pickling as it helps to draw out excess moisture from the cucumbers and adds flavor.

Add crunchy vegetables:

  • Carrot
  • Daikon radish
  • Turnip
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Red onions

What To Serve With

To complement these pickled cucumbers, I recommend serving them with Steamed white rice, Kabocha miso soup, Soy meat chunk karaage, and Kinpira Gobo!

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Japanese pickled cucumbers in a small bowl.

Leave a Rating!

I hope you enjoy these Japanese Cucumber Pickles! If you try it, don’t forget to leave a rating to share your thoughts—I love hearing from you!

Cucumber asazuke on a plate with chopsticks

Japanese Pickled Cucumbers with Shio Kombu

5 from 6 votes
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Prep: 3 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Juri Austin
This crunchy and refreshing Japanese Pickled Cucumbers are the perfect side dish when you're looking for fresh and light flavors. Give it a try!


  • 2 Japanese cucumbers, 260g
  • 1 Tbsp Shio Kombu, 5g


  • Cut cucumbers into your preferred size and put them and shio kombu in a plastic bag.
  • Seal the bag and gently massage with both hands until the cucumbers turn a brownish color.
  • Place it in an airtight container, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.



  • Storage: It will last for 3 days in the fridge.
  • Substitute: You can substitute shio kombu with 1 tsp of dashi powder and 1 tsp of sugar.
  • Enjoy variations by adding: Sesame oil and soy sauce to add more flavor, or carrot and cucumber to make it more crispy, or red pepper to make it spicy.
  • If you are not in a hurry, let it sit overnight to absorb the flavor.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 11kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.8g | Protein: 0.6g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese pickled cucumber with shio kombu, quick pickled cucumber
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