Fast Salt-Brined Cucumbers (Malossol Pickles)

malossol cucumber pickle

Malossol  literally means “little salt” in Russian. These tasty pickles are quickly cured in salt – there is no vinegar in the recipe. These are especially great in July when fresh pickling cucumbers are available. The smallest cukes have the most crunch. If you can’t find pickling cukes, Japanese cucumbers can be used, or even regular English cucumbers (quartered). I’m using a lot of aromatics in this recipe, including Russian garlic, horseradish root, black peppercorns, dill heads/seeds, and blackcurrant and cherry leaves. They can be found at farmers markets during summer (except for the leaves, which you will have to harvest yourself if you want to use them).


Directions are for 1 jar or container of approximately 1 L or 1 qt volume

  • small fresh pickling cukes to fill 1 L (1 qt)  jar or container. Make sure that they are firm. Firm cukes have the most crunch. If they fit into the jar, don’t cut them up.
  • 2 dill heads (fresh or dried) or 1 tbsp dill seeds per 1 L (1 qt) jar
  • 2-3 peeled garlic cloves (Russian garlic has the most flavour)
  • about 10 peppercorns
  • 2.5 cm horseradish root, slivered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 leaves of black currant or cherry trees (optional)
  • 3 tbsp salt per 1 L water

1. Wash cucumbers really well under cold running water.

2. Wash jar or container (with lid) in hot water with soap.

3. Cut ends off cucumbers (just a tiny bit at the very end).

4. Dissolve 3 tbsp of salt in 1 L of water. Water can be cold or room-temperature.

4. Put dill, garlic, horseradish, bay leaf, and peppercorns into the jar, then put cucumbers in.

6. Pour enough salty water into the jar to completely cover the cucumbers. Cover jar with lid.

7. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, then move to the fridge for another 24 hours. Pickles are ready to eat after that. If not eaten right away, keep them in the fridge.

One Reply to “Fast Salt-Brined Cucumbers (Malossol Pickles)”

  1. Ogi the Yogi says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I literally just made it. The only thing I didn’t add was the horseradish (I will try with it next time). I just had a quick question. I put the lid on the jar, it’s a Kilner jar, it has a clip top. I turned my jar upside down and a little water came out, is this ok? My friend got me cherry leaves, they are so hard to find in Austin, Texas.

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