I love fermented condiments. Fermentation is the perfect option for a no-cook, zero-waste and healthier alternative to store-bought condiments. This fermented cucumber relish is particularly perfect. It’s based on a classic hamburger relish and is absolutely delicious.
If you’ve never tried fermenting before, don’t let that stop you from trying out this recipe. Cucumbers naturally ferment quite well. It’s why all the best pickles start with a round of fermentation.
Starter or Not?
Cucumbers don’t need a starter to ferment really well. In fact, I never use a starter when fermenting cucumbers pickles. However, adding a bit of starter to this ferment has a few advantages.
- If it’s your first time fermenting, using a starter helps to get things going.
- Starters tend to result in softer fermented vegetables… which may be a bonus depending on your personal taste in relishes.
Pretty much any type of fermented liquid will work as a starter in this recipe:
- leftover brine from other fermented vegetables
- cultured apple cider vinegar
- unflavoured kombucha or water kefir
- whey from making cultured cheeses
- you can even use a store-bought vegetable starter (affiliate link)
How To Serve Fermented Cucumber Relish
Fermented cucumber relish is really just like store-bought relish… though perhaps a bit more flavourful and a bit less sweet. Otherwise, you can serve it just like you would any store-bought relish. Perfect for picnics, barbecues and salads.
Here are a few ways to enjoy homemade relish:
- A seasonally inspired burger or hotdog condiment.
- For a British-inspired lunch, try a cheese and relish sandwich.
- Perfect with a charcuterie board.
- Mix it into your egg salad or tuna salad
- A classic thousand island dressing
Fermented Cucumber Relish
Fermented cucumber relish is a must for barbecues and picnics. This salty-sweet condiment is probiotic and packed full of flavour. So quick and easy to make, you’ll never bother with store-bought again!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 pint jar 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 1/2 cups pickling cucumbers, finely diced
- 2 tbsp sweet red pepper, finely diced
- 2 tbsp onion, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- 1/2 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tsp salt (non-iodized)
- 2 tbsp culture (optional, see section above for details)
- 1/2 cup water, enough to cover (chlorine-free)
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar (optional)
- Mix the diced vegetables and spices in a jar for fermenting.
- Dissolve the salt in 1/4 cup of water and add in the culture. Pour over vegetables. You should have enough liquid to cover the vegetables, if not top up with a little more water.
- Use a weight to keep vegetables submerged below the brine. Ferment in a dark location for 2 days. After 2 days the relish will be slightly soft, if you want a really soft relish continue fermenting for a few more days.
- After fermenting, drain all the brine. This is important because it will also reduce the saltiness of the relish to something more palatable. Sweeten to taste and store in the fridge.
- Cucumbers are great at self-fermenting, which is why fermented pickles are so popular. However, I like to use a starter to speed up the ferment and soften the cucumbers. See the section above for some recommended starters.
- Relish is traditionally sweet, so feel free to add as much sugar as you want. It will continue to ferment even after being stored in the fridge, so you may need to add more sugar the longer it sits in the fridge.
- Fermented relish will last in the fridge for up to 6 months. Just don’t double-dip your spoon!
Keywords: relish, sauce, hot dog, hamburger, vegan, summer, spring, fall barbecue, picnic, probiotic, gluten free, sugar free, vegan, dairy free, nut free