This quick and simple cucumber kimchi salad is one of my go-to recipes for everyday meals.
It doesn’t have the sparkling, acidic, freshly-fermented flavors of real kimchi, but it has its own kick of garlicky, salty flavor and a nice crunchy texture. If you are craving kimchi but only have 30 minutes, try this simple recipe.
2 Korean-sized oi (20–25cm long cucumbers*)
2–3 cloves garlic, minced
around 2 tsp or 5~6 pinches of rough sea salt
1 tbsp gochutgaru (red chili powder)
2 tsp ggaesogeum (toasted ground sesame)
*If you’re in the States and can’t get Korean cucumbers, try to use English cucumbers and not the fat waxed cucumbers with thick skin.
1. Cut your cucumbers into 4cm sections then quarter the sections lengthwise (see photo above).
2. Season with rough sea salt and toss well. Taste it. Check too see whether it has a good salty flavor.** Add more salt if needed. Toss again.
3. Let the salted cucumbers sit until the salt penetrates the cucumber, so that it is well cured, about 20–30 minutes.
4. Once the cucumber is ready, drain any excess liquid.
5. Mix with garlic, gochutgaru, and ggaesogeum. Toss them well and place in a dish to serve.
**Sonja (while editing): Seoyoung, not everyone is going to know what this means. How much salt??
Seoyoung: You know, you taste it, and if it’s too salty you just [makes a face].
Sonja: You’re turning into an ajumma! Can we describe it somehow…?
Seoyoung: Ok, you know how you walked into the kitchen and tasted this cucumber and said “yum!” That’s how you know.
Sonja: …I’m just going to make a footnote for this part.