Fermented Cucumber Relish

Fermented cucumber relish, a zero-waste and no-cook alternative to store-bought hamburger relish.

5 from 2 reviews

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!


Units Scale
  • 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)


  1. Mix the diced vegetables, salt, and spices in a jar for fermenting.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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