With a load of cucumbers (not the pretty English kind, but the pre-historic looking clunkers), I put together a simple brine with what I had on hand — substituting Japanese mirin (a sweet rice wine like sake) for most of the sugar. The result was a sweet, earthy pickle that could be tossed with toasted sesame seeds and nori, or stand deliciously on its own.
Though the process start-to-finish is simple, it’s incomplete without the addition of one foundational pickle element — dill flowers. Many will find these saucer-shaped bouquets in farmers markets or peeking from the tops of their herb gardens this time of year. Don’t throw them away! They make for excellent flavor in soups and brines.
Find this recipe here: http://tuppups.com/2014/09/09/sweet-rice-wine-pickles/