Kovászos Uborka – Fermented Cucumber 

Hungarians call this time cucumber season, when the city empties and markets brim with small, bumpy cucumbers. People stuff them in three-liter jars with strong, half-dried dill, add salty water and stale bread, and let the sun’s rays trigger lactic acid fermentation.


  • Gherkins, cleaned, enough to fill whatever size jar you are using
  • Dill, a few stalks (preferably the strong kind)
  • Salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Garlic, optional
  • 1 slice of bread (stale is fine)



  1. To prepare Kovászos uborka, start by arranging the gherkins upright, tightly-packed, in a clean jar. For added flavor, add dill stalks and garlic, if desired.
  2. In a pot of lukewarm water, combine salt and sugar, using two tablespoons of salt for every one liter (approximately one quart) of water. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Carefully pour the saltwater mixture over the gherkins in the jar, ensuring that all the cucumbers are fully submerged. To aid in the fermentation process, place a piece of stale bread on top of the liquid, and cover the jar with a plate or a loosely-secured lid, allowing some air circulation.
  4. Find a warm spot to store the jar, but avoid placing it directly under strong sunlight. This warm environment will promote the fermentation process, transforming the cucumbers into tangy and delicious pickles.
  5. After the second day, it’s time to check on the progress of the pickles. Taste and assess their flavor and texture. Generally, Kovászos uborka is ready after three or four days of fermentation. Once they have reached the desired taste, transfer the pickles to smaller jars and store them in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process.


A couple of tips:

Ensure the cucumbers used are fresh, as one bitter cucumber can adversely affect the entire batch. If the cucumbers are thick, it’s advisable to slit them lengthwise a few times, allowing the liquid to better penetrate the interior.

To prevent any potential disruption in the fermentation process, bring the jar inside during chilly nights, as lower temperatures can slow down the fermentation.

Enjoy the delightful tang and crunch of homemade Kovászos uborka, a cherished treat during the Hungarian cucumber season!

Nutrition (100g)


Energy (kcal)18
Protein (g)0.7
Fat (g)0.5
– Saturated (g)0
– Unsaturated (g)0
– Multiple unsaturated (g)0
Carbohydrate (g)1.9
– Slow-release carbs (g)1.9
– Fast-release carbs (g)0
– Sugar (g)1.9
Glycemic index15
Fiber (g)2.5








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