Easy homemade cucumber relish recipe

Are you making something Asian for dinner? Then you need to add this homemade cucumber relish to your menu. Made with only 5 ingredients, these quick pickles are ready in 10 minutes.

The post has extra tips to make sure the recipe comes out amazing on your first try. If you're in a rush, use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end! 👩‍🍳🔝
cucumber relish i na small white bowl with ginger slices and chilli

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Easy homemade cucumber relish

Why you should try this recipe

This sweet pickle relish recipe is a perfect addition to your dinner. It goes well with Thai chicken meatballs or Thai fish cakes especially. But you can serve it with your favorite curry or miso baked salmon. It is so easy to make and kids usually absolutely love the sweet-sour taste of the cucumber. A great way to introduce more vegetables to their diet. You can even add the cucumber relish to the hot dogs or Vietnamese banh me.

Ingredients for cucumber relish

The ingredients list is short and everything is readily available from your local grocery store. The only thing that might be more difficult to find is pickled garlic, but you can go ahead and make this recipe without it. Here is what you will need:

Ingredients needed to make homemade cucumber relish
  • Cucumber. English cucumbers or Lenabenese cucumbers are the best for this recipe
  • Rice vinegar. I like using organic brown rice vinegar. If you don’t have rice vinegar you can substitute it with white vinegar.
  • Sugar. I use raw organic sugar.
  • ​Pickled garlic cloves. As mentioned before, is optional.
  • Fresh ginger.
  • Shallots. (Optional.) I usually leave shallots out when making it for kids but will add some if making it for a dinner party.

How to make homemade cucumber relish

To make this homemade relish is very straightforward.

  • Combine rice vinegar, water, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Simmer the marinade for a couple of minutes, until the sugar dissolves completely and the marinade has thickened a little. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut cucumbers into short matchsticks. You can watch the video in the recipe card to see how I do it.
  • ​Finely chop ginger, garlic, and shallots (if using) and add to cucumber.
  • Pour the vinegar marinade over the chopped vegetables and mix well to combine.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
TOP TIP: While you can serve the cucumber relish straight away, it is best to leave it refrigerated for a couple of hours. 
thinly sliced cucumber relish served with ginger and chilli

Optional add-ons:

Red pepper. You can add some heat to the sweet pickled relish by adding some thinly sliced red or green peppers.

How to store

This sweet cucumber relish will stay fresh in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days. In fact, it tastes even better the next day. Cucumbers might get a little soggy, but this won’t affect their taste.

I do not recommend freezing the cucumber relish.

What to serve with Asian homemade cucumber relish

While this relish is traditionally served with chicken or fish meatballs you can also use it in many other ways:

  • Asian Rice Bowls:

Serve the cucumber relish on top of rice bowls with grilled chicken, tofu, or shrimp. The vibrant flavors will add a refreshing contrast to the savory main dish.

  • Asian Lettuce Wraps:

Use the Asian cucumber relish as a topping or filling for Asian lettuce wraps. Fill large lettuce leaves with a protein of your choice (such as minced chicken or tofu), add a spoonful of the cucumber relish, and drizzle with a bit of extra sauce if desired. 

  • Asian Noodle Salad:

Toss the cucumber relish with cooked and chilled Asian noodles, such as soba or rice noodles, for a flavorful and refreshing noodle salad.

  • Banh Mi Sandwiches:

Include the cucumber relish in banh mi sandwiches with grilled pork, chicken, or tofu. It provides a crunchy and zesty component to the sandwich.

  • Fish cakes:

This cucumber relish makes a great addition to our Thai fish cakes. We love the fish cakes served with basmati rice and cucumber relish. Such an easy kid-friendly dinner.

Thai fish cakes served with cucumber relish
Have you tried this recipe? If so, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could leave a star rating and share your thoughts in a comment. Your feedback means a lot to me, and it can also help others who are interested in trying it out. Thank you! 🌟👩‍🍳
cucumber relish. Thinly sliced cucumbers served with ginger slices and chilli

Easy homemade cucumber relish recipe

Elena Elliott
Spice up your family dinner with this simple, yet delicious cucumber relish! It's super easy to make and adds a tasty twist to any meal. Everyone will love its fresh Thai flavor!
5 from 23 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people


  • 1 large cucumber, cut into batons cut into batons
  • 3 cloves pickled garlic You still can make the recipe if you don't have pickled garlic.
  • 2 shallots Leave shallots out if preparing for young kids.
  • 1 cm fresh ginger (1/2 inch)

Cucumber relsh marinade

  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup organic raw sugar leave sugar out for law carb virsion


Prepare cucumber relish marinade

  • Mix the rice vinegar, sugar and water in a small pan. Heat gently, stirring constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
    4 tablespoons rice vinegar, 4 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup organic raw sugar

Make the cucumber relish

  • Chop the pickled cloves finely, along with the ginger, and shallots, place in a bowl.
    3 cloves pickled garlic, 2 shallots, 1 cm fresh ginger
  • Add the cucumber batons and shallots, pour over the vinegar mixture and mix lightly. Cover and set aside. until needed.


You can make this recipe even if you don’t have pickled garlic.
Leave shallots out if making the cucumber relish for young kids.
This cucumber relish will stay fresh in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Keyword cucumber relish recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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5 from 23 votes (21 ratings without comment)

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