German cucumber salad (Gurkensalat)

A white bowl filled with German cucumber salad

A German cucumber salad broadly comes in two variations: with sour cream, or without. This is the former, the thin slices of cucumber squeezed of their juices then dressed with a mixture of sour cream, fresh dill, oil and vinegar, the acidity balanced out with a little sugar. It’s so simple it barely warrants a recipe, but given the importance of getting the acidity right, the guidelines for measurements are very useful. German cucumber salad traditionally makes an excellent accompaniment to all sorts of pork dishes, from sausages to steaks to schnitzels, and is a particularly good side in combination with a potato salad.

A white bowl on a white surface, filled with German cucumber salad

German cucumber salad recipe (serves 4 generously as a side)

2 large salad/English cucumbers, or 4 small ones
150g sour cream
4 tbsp neutral oil such as vegetable or rapeseed
2-3 tbsp white wine vinegar
A good pinch of sugar
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill (or more to taste, plus a few feathers to garnish)

Slice the cucumber thinly and squeeze with your hands over the sink to remove some of their liquid, then put to one side. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, 2 tbsp of the vinegar, the oil and sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Add more vinegar to taste – I tend to use a good splash – then add the chopped dill and stir to combine. Pour the dressing over the cucumber and mix gently.

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      1. says: sukai64blog

        Made it today, was delicious 🤤. We had new potatoes and a bit of Garlic Quark with chives as I needed to use up the Quark. Definitely something I will make again 😁

  1. Hello, swedish lady, came here through duckduck.go, searching for german sausages – kudos, I must say, lovely to read about weisswurst and how to eat it (discovered Lidl today, which I’ve frowned upon previously, but nxt week is alpenfest with sausages galore and, pause, Limburger cheese! Astonished.

  2. says: Bianca Lang

    I know there are different ways to make stuff but I’ve never made my gurkensalat with sour cream. I am german and I learned from my mom who learned from my Oma. English cucumber is definitely better to use than your standard cucumber. We sliced nice and thin and added super thin sliced onion. The “dressing” is salt and pepper, Maggie to taste, oil, vinegar and whipping cream with chopped fresh dill. I’m not even tempted to try the version that was presented. I’ll stick to what I know. Works good with tomatoes and egg salad (hard boiled of course) and nappa cabbage salad. Just thought I would share to try something different.

    1. Well, it would be very boring if we all made everything the same way! Thank you so much for telling me about your Oma’s version – I don’t think I’ve ever tried it with whipping cream. I love how very particular we all are about our family recipes, I’m just the same about some of the dishes I grew up on, too. This cucumber salad recipe is based on how my mother-in-law makes it.

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