How to pickle asparagus

Soy chicken with shiitake mushrooms and lightly pickled vegetables

How to pickle asparagus

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to pickle asparagus

Pickling is a great means of preserving asparagus past its short season but also a nice way to add a little bit of sharpness to this spring vegetable. The pickling liquor can be flavoured with a range of spices depending on your personal taste.




  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 200ml of water
  • 200ml of white wine vinegar
  • 200ml of caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt


Wash the asparagus, snap off the woody bottoms then slice in half down the length of the spears
In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, until the sugar and salt has dissolved
Remove the pickling liquid from the heat, add the asparagus and cover with cling film
Pickle for at least 1 hour – the longer you leave it submerged, the stronger the flavour will be
Discard the liquid and store the asparagus in the fridge until needed


If wanting to keep the asparagus for a longer period of time, it can be stored submerged in the pickling liquid in a sterilised jar for up to 2 weeks.

You can add various spices and flavours to the pickling liquid – why not try coriander, fennel or cumin seeds. You could also add a bay leaf, cloves or even chilli for a bit of a kick.

Why not try using a different type of vinegar such as cabernet sauvignon or apple cider.

Serving suggestions

The sweet-sour marinade used to pickle asparagus marries perfectly with rich ingredients as it helps to cut through intense, fatty flavours. Alternatively, it can be served with Asian-inspired dishes, working well with umami flavours – Andy Waters pairs his pickled asparagus with soy-marinated chicken. Pickled asparagus can also be served as part of a vegetable platter with charcuterie, cheeses and dips or tossed into summer salads and served as part of a picnic or barbecue.

Pickling doesn’t have to stop with asparagus, try cucumber pickle, cabbage and cauliflower for alternatives. Pickling spices can be adapted to whatever dish you are making so be creative with your choices.

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