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Cucumber Pickles with Ground Pork Marinade


  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. finely chopped peeled ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped pickled spicy chiles
  • Kosher salt


Smack whole cucumbers, turning against work surface 3-4 times to loosen and tenderize. (Bruising the cucumbers helps break down their flesh, which is then better able to absorb the flavor of the marinade.) Slice cucumbers into 3"-long pieces; set aside. Whisk soy sauce, cornstarch, and ½ tsp. pepper in a large bowl; mix in pork and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, and ginger, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes; mix in turmeric. Add pork mixture and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add vinegar, chiles, and smacked cucumbers. Toss to coat. Transfer to a medium bowl and let sit, tossing occasionally, 1 hour; season with salt and pepper.

Adapted from Bon Appetit Online

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