Hungarian Kovászos Uborka (Pickled Cucumbers) Recipe

Kovászos uborka is a traditional Hungarian dish of pickled cucumbers that are naturally fermented using a brine solution and bread yeast. This method results in a tangy and flavorful pickle that’s perfect as a snack, side dish, or even as a condiment for sandwiches. Here’s how to make your own delicious kovászos uborka at home:



  • 1 kg small pickling cucumbers
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill or 1 tablespoon of dried dill seeds
  • About 3 liters of water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 thick slice of bread


  • 1 small piece of horseradish root
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
  • 2-3 bay leaves


  1. Prepare the Cucumbers:
    • Wash the cucumbers thoroughly and trim off both ends. If the cucumbers are larger, you can slice them into halves or quarters.
    • Place the cucumbers in a clean glass jar.
  1. Add Flavorings:
    • Add the crushed garlic, dill sprigs or dill seeds, horseradish, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and bay leaves to the container with the cucumbers. Distribute these ingredients evenly among the cucumbers.
  2. Prepare the Brine:
    • In a separate container, mix the water and sea salt and bring the water to boil. You’ve just created the brine solution. Let it cool a bit.
  3. Pour the Brine:
    • Carefully pour the lukewarm brine over the cucumbers and flavorings in the container. Make sure the cucumbers are fully submerged in the brine.
  4. Fermentation Starter:
    • To begin fermentation, place one thick slice of bread on top. The yeast will help start the fermentation process.
  5. Fermentation:
    • Cover the jar with a saucer or small plate, protect from dust and insects and place in a sunny spot. Leave the cucumbers to ferment at room temperature for about 3-7 days, depending on taste.
  6. Taste Testing:
    • After a couple of days, start tasting the cucumbers. Once they’ve reached your desired level of tanginess and flavor, they are ready to be enjoyed. Remember that fermentation time can vary based on factors like temperature and personal preference.
  7. Storage:
    • Once the cucumbers are fermented to your liking, remove the flavorings (garlic, dill, etc.) from the container by straining the juice. You can transfer the pickles back to the glass jars and store them in the refrigerator. The cold storage will slow down the fermentation process.
  8. Enjoy:
    • Kovászos uborka is typically served as a side dish or a snack. They pair well with various Hungarian dishes, cold cuts, and sandwiches.

Remember that fermentation involves live bacteria, so make sure to maintain cleanliness and proper hygiene throughout the process. Enjoy your homemade Hungarian kovászos uborka!

Here’s another, more detailed recipe that we recommend: Here’s another, more detailed recipe that we recommend: