Ironically when I lived in China, one of my favorite restaurants to eat at was a Korean one. I absolutely fell in love with bibimbap (mixed rice bowls), japchae (glass noodles), pajeon (scallion pancake), and the very traditional Korean cabbage kimchi. My mouth still waters when I think about the Korean meals I shared with dear friends on the other side of the world.
Since moving to Connecticut over four months ago, I’ve had the privilege of making some wonderful new friends. One in particular, Veronica, shares with me a deep love of cooking, healthy eating, and natural living. I could sit on her back deck for hours, soaking up her wisdom, and listening to her backyard chickens clucking away.
Veronica recently shared this quick cucumber kimchi recipe with me, and I have been dying to try it. This ancient fermented dish is jam packed with “good” bacteria that all of our bodies need. Fermented food works as a natural probiotic and is great for balancing out the delicate makeup of bacteria found in our intestines. The health benefits of kimchi are undeniable!
Last week I agreed to bring all the fresh ingredients to Veronica’s house, and she would contribute the more unique Asian spice. We made a big batch together, and it turned out delicious! I’m really excited to share the recipe with you (and just in the nick of time since cucumber season is almost over).
This is a fantastic side dish, or snack, and makes the most of abundant summer produce. Even better, it’s very inexpensive to make!
Quick Cucumber Kimchi4-6 large cucumbers 3-4 Tbls of sea salt (coarse grain is best so you can see if the cucumber pieces are coated well) 1 large onion, julienne 3-4 garlic cloves minced, or you can use a garlic crusher 2 Tbls fish sauce 4 Tbls Korean red pepper powder 3-4 green onions, or a bunch of chives, julienne
Chop the cucumbers into bite sized pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add the salt and mix it together gently until the cucumbers are coated. It would be best to start with 2 tablespoons of salt, and work your way up from there if you feel you need more. Let the cucumbers sit for about 20 minutes, and chop the rest of your ingredients while you wait.
QUICK NOTE: One of the easiest ways to mix this dish is with your hands! Either wash them well, or use thin plastic kitchen gloves. I would recommend gloves because the red pepper powder can be a little messy.
Add the rest of the ingredients to your cucumber bowl, and mix together gently. With the red pepper powder, it’s best to start with less if you don’t want your kimchi fiery hot. We sort of eyeballed it, but probably ended up using about 2-3 tablespoons for a less spicy kimchi. Place the mix in a glass container, and let it sit for 24 hours before eating. This time is important as it allows the ingredients to marry. This dish improves over time, so if it’s too spicy at first, wait another day or two. Yesterday my batch had been fermenting for about three days and it was perfect, in my opinion!
Also, Veronica found her red pepper powder and fish sauce at a local Asian market. If you don’t have one nearby, or a specialty food store that carries it, you can easily purchase it online:Korean hot pepper powder and fish sauce. (Disclosure: These are affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my links, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help keep this blog running, so thank you!)
There you have it! A really simple recipe that would be delicious all summer long.
This recipe was shared at: The Nourishing Gourmet.