Truly, you can make delightfully crunchy pickles in 15 minutes and they will keep for weeks when submerged in the brine. They are terrific in all your sandwiches, with cold meats and cheeses and just for snacking. Vary the brine by adding minced garlic, sliced onions, whole pepper seeds and fresh herbs. The amount of heat is up to you. If you like them spicy, increase the red pepper flakes. If serving them with the Hoi Sin Glazed Salmon Burgers, the heat gets diffused, so I like to increase the red pepper flakes to 1/4 teaspoon.
⅓ cup water
¼ cup rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon whole or crushed mustard seeds, optional
⅛ teaspoon or more crushed red pepper flakes
24 English cucumber slices, about 1/8 inch thick
In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, ginger, mustard seeds, if using, and red pepper flakes. Bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cucumbers. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.
To store: Spoon cucumbers into a jar, pour brine over (make sure they are submerged in the brine), and refrigerate for several weeks.
Makes 24 thin slices.