Beer Brine Pickle Recipe

I’m teaching a class tonight at food and art community space 18 Reasons on Curious and Peculiar Pickles – whey pickles, Kool Aid pickles, rice bran pickles; pickles made with soy sauce, miso, and nothing but salt. In short, the unsung pickling alternatives to our beloved ‘kraut and dills. I have really been digging working on these pickle recipes, and I will likely turn this into a blog series. What other odd birds do you like to pack into a pint jar?

Lucky me, the class is sold out! But if you’re an unlucky you who was not able to sign up, I present to you your next pickling challenge: Beer Brine Pickles. The beer adds a nice malty, bitter edge to these robust pickles. And I won’t even tell you what drink pairs with these well….:>

If you live in San Francisco, there are also two upcoming classes on lactofermented pickles and pickling with fruit that I highly recommend.



Beer Brine Refrigerator Pickle Recipe
  • 2 12 oz. bottles Anchor Steam beer (or another medium- to full-bodied beer)
  • 2 lbs. small pickling cucumbers (Persians, Kirby’s, etc.
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 dried chili peppers
  • 1 T each yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and kosher salt, divided
  • Distilled white vinegar
  1. Gather three clean pint-sized canning jars with lids. If you’re planning to can these pickles, sterilize your jars and lids. Note that canning these pickles is not necessary.
  2. Pour the beer into a large saucepan - larger than you think, as it will foam quite a bit. Set over high heat until boiling and foaming, stirring occasionally to reduce the foam. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and let the beer simmer for about 15 minutes, until it reduces by about a third.
  3. Meanwhile, scrub the cucumbers really well (especially the ends). Quarter them lengthwise and, if needed, trim them to fit into the jars.
  4. In the bottom of each jar, place one clove of garlic (with an X cut into it), one chili pepper, and one teaspoon each of the mustard seed, peppercorns, and salt. Tilt the jar on its side and stack the pickles into the jar as tightly as possible.
  5. Fill each jar halfway with the hot beer, and then top it off with vinegar until the vegetables are fully submerged. Cap tightly and shake to combine.
  6. If you’re canning these pickles, use only sterilized jars and lids. Loosen the cap to fingertip-tight and then process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. If you’re making refrigerator pickles, let the pickles sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then move them to the fridge. The flavor of the pickles will be at its best after 3 days.
Makes 3 pints. Time: About 3 days

Pickled Burdock Root Recipe – Bonus Tsukemono from Asian Pickles Japan e-book

burdock root by! I can’t stop pickling with Asian ingredients!

My own personal 12-step issues aside, this is a tasty “quickle” (quick + pickle) using a simple preparation on an ingredient avid picklers are likely dying to try – burdock root.

Happy pickling!

Pickled Burdock Root Japanese Tsukemono Recipe
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Burdock root is a mysterious vegetable for the Western table, but it needn’t be. It’s mild and slightly sweet, and its texture is somewhere between jicama and sunchokes/rutabaga. These long, brown, starchy-looking vegetable logs used to be exclusive to Asian groceries, but here in San Francisco I’ve even been finding them in big chain grocery stores as of late. They boil up beautifully in soup (pickled or raw) and it’s terrific in any kind of stir fried or boiled rice dish. As a pickle, it fully stands up on its own. The only trick to burdock is that it discolors to a hideous brown very quickly - much more so than potatoes - so some caution has to be taken to keep its creamy white color.
  • 1 lb. fresh burdock root
  • 4 T red umezu (ume plum vinegar)
  • 6 T unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 T sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Burdock loves to go brown as quickly as it’s peeled. Let’s keep it from getting its way by peeling it with the help of an acidic water bath. Ready a large bowl of cool water and add a couple of tablespoons of white distilled vinegar or the juice of half a lemon.
  2. Additionally, set a medium saucepan of water on to boil.
  3. And in a vessel or measuring cup with a pouring spout, combine the umezu, vinegar, sugar, and water to make the brine.
  4. Chop the burdock into 4-inch lengths. Working with one piece at a time, peel it very deeply. its woody, fibrous skin tends to run fairly deep. After peeling, transfer each piece to the acidic water bath. Then, working with one piece at a time again, slice the burdock into thin circular coins, placing them back in the acidic bath as you go.
  5. When your water is boiling, drain the burdock and transfer it to the pot. Boil the vegetable for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the burdock tastes tender and sweet.
  6. Drain the burdock well and pack it into a glass jar(s). Pour the brine over to cover, secure with a lid, and let it sit at room temperature for one day before refrigerating. Your burdock is ready to eat, but it will taste even better after three days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 20 oz

Pickled Onion Flowers in Glass Jars

pickled onion flowers in jarsAren’t these lovely? Found them at the Mission Community Market from Little City Gardens. All of the action is in the flower buds. Plucked, pickled or not, they’re a stunner in a salad. I didn’t think the flowers needed much, so I just did 50/50 water and distilled white vinegar, plus a little kosher salt. And thank you, Weck Jars, for having the physical graces that I do not.