This is a Korean favorite that I first tried from my sister in law’s mother. It was amazing and I highly encourage you to try it! It makes a nice, spicy, cucumber salad that, for lack of a better word, tastes refreshing. I have edited it slightly, omitting the fish sauce. If you want to try it with the fish sauce, try to find Korean fish sauce, specifically. All I could find locally was Thai fish sauce, which tastes different.
- 3 Korean cucumbers or 5 – 6 kirby (pickling) cucumbers, about 1.5 pounds
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt (less if using table salt)
- 1/4 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 – 2 scallions, cut into 1-1/2 inch lengths
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
(use 2 tablespoons for spicier kimchi)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (myulchi aekjeot) (optional – see note above!)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Cut the cucumbers crosswise into 1-1/2 inch-long pieces. Quarter each piece lengthwise. Sprinkle the salt evenly all over the cucumber pieces. Let them sit for about 30 minutes.
Drain the cucumbers in a strainer to remove any water released. Do not rinse the cucumbers.
Add the onions, scallions and all the remaining ingredients to the salted cucumbers.
Toss everything until the cucumbers are well coated with the seasonings. The cucumbers will look dry at this point but will release moisture as they absorb the seasonings. You can eat this kimchi 20 – 30 minutes after making it. If you like it ripe, leave it out in room temperature for a few hours to overnight to expedite the fermentation process. Then, refrigerate. It is best eaten within 3 to 4 days.