Quick English Cucumber and Shiso Pickles

Shiso and pickles should hang out more often. The aromatic green leaves give these lightly sweet pickles a fresh, herbaceous lift, reminiscent of cinnamon, cloves and ginger all at once. Because the pickling liquid is left cold, the delicate coins of English cucumber retain a satisfying bite, even after several hours in the refrigerator.


¼ cup sugar

½ cup apple cider vinegar

3 tbs mirin

1 tbs salt, preferrably sea or kosher

1 large English cucumber

8 shiso leaves (or substitute basil)


Put sugar, vinegar, mirin and salt into a non-reactive bowl. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Either slice cucumbers as thinly as possible, or cut them lengthwise into spears. Up to you!

Gather the shiso leaves like a deck of cards, roll into a tube and slice, chiffonade-style, like you would with basil. Add cucumbers and shiso to the marinade and stir. Try to cover the vegetables with the marinade. It's okay if the liquid doesn't submerge the cucumbers. They will break down and get smaller as they marinate. Put the mix in the fridge and let marinate for at least 4 hours.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.