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Hungarian Cucumber Salad With Sour Cream (Tejfölös Uborkasaláta)

Though cucumbers are not quite in season yet, I’ve been craving this light and creamy cucumber salad. It’s been making an appearance on our dinner table at family gatherings — and for no special reason at all — for about as long as I can remember.

The cast of characters in this cucumber salad recipe includes fresh cucumbers, a large onion, and sour cream, among a few other staples that you likely already have in your pantry right now.

Peel the cucumbers, and then slice them and the onion up very thin.

You could use a mandoline or a food processor if you prefer, but I opted to do it by hand, as that was the way I learned this recipe many years ago.

Next, give the cucumber/onion mixture a generous salting and let them marinate for about an hour. The salt will help draw the excess water out, and giving them a good stir every so often will help this process along.

Now it’s time to get your hands a little dirty! Reach in and grab a handful of the cucumber and onion mixture, and squeeze out as much water as you can. Then place it in a clean bowl. Get the kids involved in this step — trust me, they’ll love it! Continue to do this for the rest of the mixture.

Whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, water, and ground pepper to taste, and stir together with the cucumber mixture. You can serve it right away, or refrigerate it for a couple of hours to help temper the onion if you’re not a fan of raw onions. I like to sprinkle a little paprika on top for presentation, but it’s not a necessary ingredient.

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 6 minutes

This light and creamy cucumber salad has been making an appearance on our dinner table for about as long as I can remember.

Ingredients

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Hungarian sweet paprika

Instructions

  1. Peel the cucumbers and slice both the cucumbers and onion very thin.
  2. Place them in a large bowl, sprinkle with kosher salt, and toss to combine. Allow them to marinate for about one hour.
  3. Grab handfuls of the cucumber and onion mixture and squeeze as much water out as you can.
  4. Whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, water, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir into cucumber mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Sprinkle paprika over the top for presentation, if desired. Serve chilled.

How much did you LOVE this recipe?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #unsophisticook!

If you love this Hungarian cucumber salad, you will also adore this easy Hungarian chicken paprikash! It’s a weeknight-friendly version of my favorite comfort food — tender pieces of chicken, covered in a thick, rich, and creamy sauce that is flavored with delicate Hungarian sweet paprika… Or this very similar Hungarian paprika pork chops recipe!

We also serve this light and fresh sour cream cucumber salad for New Year’s Day, alongside my family’s slow cooker pork chops and sauerkraut recipe. I look forward to it every year!

Shadeslove aka BR

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Similar to my families Hungarian Cukes & Sour Cream Recipe. Though we don't use onion, but minced/crushed garlic.

Wash 3-4 cucumbers. Cut from vine end & taste a small slice until its sweetish tasting & not bitter. Then skin cucumbers, using lowest setting on mandolin thinly slice cucumbers. Place in non reactive bowl (Glass or plastic), add iodized salt, crushed 3-4 garlic cloves, (if small use more. Need medium to large clove.) apple cider vinager, little water. Toss cucumbers in sauce, occasionally for next 20-30 minutes. Taste a small piece, should be slightly vinagery, salty & garlicky. When it's marinaded long enough. Squeeze cucumbers to rid excessive water & place in new bowl. Add 2-4 tablespoon sour cream. Refrigerate until time to serve, or remove 10 minutes early, so its still slightly chilled.

You can uses Regular cucumbers, English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers. With regular cucumbers, I try to find slimmer cucumbers to reduce seeds. English, I use usually 1-2 cucumbers, since they are so much bigger than regular cucumbers. Persian cucumbers, I will clean the whole container cucumbers, because they are so small.

Note that English & Persian, do not need to be skinned or have the bitter/sweet taste test. Regular (Pole) cucumbers need this because at the vine end can have a bitter section & if you skin or cut down the cucumber before ridding it of the bitter end, you'll spread the bitterness throughout the rest of the cucumber.

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 21st of January 2021

Thanks for sharing! I will definitely have to try swapping the onions for garlic sometime. That's a great tip for the cucumbers -- I don't like a lot of seeds in mine, either.

Barbara Bodner

Thursday 9th of May 2019

This is how my mom made her cucumber salad. she would make it along with breaded chicken and mashed potatoes. My favorite comfort meal!!!

Timea

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

That’s exactly what I’m making.

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 9th of May 2019

Sounds fantastic, Barbara! I just made it recently for Easter, and I can't wait until I can get good local cucumbers at the farmer's market.

Violet

Friday 27th of February 2015

I just made this tonight! My favorite salad. I use a mandolin to slice it very thin and it works quickly. I also will substitute green onion for the yellow sometimes as my hubby is not very fond of raw onions. I made chicken parikash with noki to go along with it, My favorite Hungarian meal! It was fantastic!

Denise

Thursday 21st of December 2017

My dad always made it with green/spring onions too. I love the variatons on it

Wendy All

Friday 23rd of January 2015

This is similar to my Hungarian grandmother's recipe. She used to pride herself on how thin she could slice the cucumbers. I disagree with adding black pepper to the recipe, it can overwhelm the subtlety of the paprika.

I also remember my grandmother using a little fresh dill in the recipe, her family was from the more northern region of Hungary.

Christine

Friday 17th of August 2012

I really just want to thank you. My mother made this salad when I was growing up and I always loved it. She passed 15 years ago, and for the life of me I couldn't remember this recipe. Thank you for sharing this.

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