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. 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
How To Serve Fermented Cucumber Relish
Fermented cucumber relish is really just like store-bought relish… though perhaps a bit more flavorful 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 cheese and relish sandwiches.
- Perfect with a charcuterie board.
- Mix it into your egg salad or tuna salad
- In 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 flavor. 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 tsp salt (non-iodized)
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- 1/2 tsp coriander seed
- 2 Tbsp culture (optional, see section above for details)
- 1/2 cup water, enough to cover (chlorine-free)
- 1 to 3 Tbsp sugar (optional)
- Mix the diced vegetables, salt, and spices in a jar for fermenting.
- Pour the water and starter over the 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. Cap with a loose-fitting lid that will allow the ferment to bubble. Place the jar in a dark location for 2 days (a kitchen cupboard is perfect). After 2 days the relish will be slightly soft, if you want a really soft relish continue fermenting for up to 1 week.
- After fermenting, drain 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 fermentation 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
Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I love how you incorporate these ingredients to turn it to a better recipe.
I have always wanted to make my own fermented relish with the ingredients I can choose myself. Thank you for sharing this recipe as I will use this as a guide.
b᧐okmarked!!, I love your blog!
Thanks for this, to ferment do you leave the jar open or do you close the lid once the water is in?
This ferment doesn’t need exposure to air to ferment. Cucumbers generally have all the culture they need on their skin. However, this will bubble a lot. So if you have a lid that can let gas escape (like a fido or pickle pipe) then close up the lid. If not, then make sure the lid is only loosely tightened so gas can escape.