Schmorgurken (German Braised Cucumbers)


There are many variations of this dish in Germany and I grew up with this simple, sweet and sour vegetarian one. Often ground beef or small meat balls are added to the mix and sometimes also tomato. I don’t know of any cooked cucumber dishes in the States but having grown up with this one in Germany it doesn’t seem odd to me and is well worth a try. The quantities are squishy for this recipe, confirmed by my mother. Just scale up or down to taste and depending on what you have.

schmorgurken prep

Serves 4


Olive oil

2 large or 3 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed with a teaspoon

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and lots of freshly ground pepper

3 or more tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Cooked rice for serving


Put your rice on to cook—we grew up eating this over long grain white rice but you could by all means use brown as well.


Cut the halved cucumbers into ½-inch half-rounds. In a large, heavy skillet sauté the cucumber slices in a bit of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat, stirring frequently. They will release quite a bit of liquid, which is great. It will add to the sauce. When they are translucent and softening (about 10 minutes) add the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes more until the cucumbers are completely tender and the sauce has thickened a little. Add the dill, taste and adjust for salt and pepper and serve hot over rice.