Shlomo's Kosher Sour Pickles/Tomatoes by Sy

Total Time
336hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 336 hrs

There is nothing quite like a "Mouth Watering" Kosher New York City Sour Pickle or Sour Tomato from a wooden barrel. I remember as a teenager in "The Bronx" biking over to the local indoor but "open" food market, with many vendors providing produce. I would then go over to the "Pickle Man" and watch him put his hand into the wooden barrel and pull out a "Big One", for only 5 Cents!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 13 -20 kirby cucumbers, Wash and scrub to remove dirt (No waxed cucumbers, about 3 lbs)
  • 12 cup kosher salt or 12 cup coarse salt
  • 14 cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spices, Remove cloves (Use Spice Bouquet 'Pickling Spices' if available)
  • 6 -8 garlic cloves, Skin removed and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 12 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 18 teaspoon alum (optional)


  2. Cut 1/16 inch off the blossom end. Discard any cucumbers that are bruised or damaged.
  3. In a 3 1/2 quart glass jar add the Kirby Cucumbers standing them upright (Turning the jar on its side will help).
  4. Put all the spices into a large bowl (Alum Optional), add some water and mix. Then pour this mixture into the jar, top off with water. Adding a piece of rye bread is also optional.
  5. Place a small item (A piece of plastic, wood, etc.) on top to keep the Kirby Cucumbers down and under the water/brine.
  6. Close jar and turn upside down to mix all the ingredients --.
  7. Next open jar, put "plastic wrap" on the top (Use a rubber band to keep in place); Then using a kitchen knife punch many holes in the "plastic wrap" in order to let some of the brine gases out.
  8. Let the Kirby cucumbers stand 2-3 weeks (in a "COOL" location) depending on how fast they cure in the brine; From time-to-time you can remove any scum on the top, add a little salted water to top off -- and shake the mixture. Then place in the refrigerator!
  9. Note: For half sour pickles, let it pickle for about 1 week -- and then place in the refrigerator!
  11. Use the same recipe as outlined above for "Kosher Sour Pickles". However, use about 10-12 green tomatoes (about 3 lbs) in place of the kirby cucumbers. Also, sour tomatoes need a little more salt then kirby pickles -- so add to taste.
  12. Take off the tomato stems. As an option cut away the brown area and leave a small hole which will allow the brine to penetrate into the tomatoes (you can also cut the tomatoes in half).
  13. Let stand 2-3 weeks depending on how fast the tomatoes cure in the brine. Then place in the refrigerator!
  14. NOTE: If you can find green "Plum Tomatoes" you might want to try them as well!
Most Helpful

i really enjoyed these pickles, they were worth the wait. very easy to make with a great garlic /dill taste. next time i will let them sit even longer, i like my pickles very sour.

chia July 01, 2004