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Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi

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My Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi combines sliced cucumber with carrots, onion, garlic and chili and can be prepared in only 30 minutes. These crisp and refreshing vegetables are the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salt and spice that you come to expect from a good Cucumber Kimchi recipe. 

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi in a black dish.,

QUICK KOREAN CUCUMBER KIMCHI

These crisp vegetables are delicious served alongside any main dish where you want to add great flavor, texture and that all important crunch.

I love to add them to sandwiches, wraps, tacos and burgers to pack a real flavor punch.

My cucumber kimchi recipe requires little preparation and the whole dish can be ready to enjoy in around 30 minutes.

This kimchi recipe with cucumber can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, ready to enjoy any time.

I love sour, slightly sweet veggies.

If you do too you have to try my Easy Curdito, Refrigerator Dill Pickles or my Quick Pickled Red Onions.

I especially love to pair this Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi with Asian Marinated Flank Steak, Asian Chicken Noodle Soup, Beef Bulgogi with Zucchini Noodles and these Spicy Ramen Noodles.

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi with chopsticks.

WHAT IS CUCUMBER KIMCHI?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean vegetable dish made with salted and fermented vegetables.

In my Quick Cucumber Kimchi recipe, I combine cucumber with carrot, onion and garlic and let it sit for 30 minutes. Because it is a quick recipe it isn’t fermented but still tastes great and has that flavor you love with kimchi. 

IS KIMCHI CUCUMBER HEALTHY?

Cucumber kimchi is full of antioxidants, beta-carotene and is also a great source of Vitamins A and C.

Kimchi is excellent for gut health and boosting our immune systems, so is a great addition to our daily diets.

HOW LONG DOES FRESH CUCUMBER KIMCHI LAST?

Once prepared, this fresh cucumber kimchi can be stored in a glass mason jar or sealed container. Place the jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

I like to enjoy this cucumber kimchi when it is fresh and the vegetables are still crunchy.

The longer you ferment the kimchi, the softer the vegetables become and after 7 days the cucumber can become mushy.

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi in a white bowl.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE QUICK KOREAN CUCUMBER KIMCHI?

CUCUMBER: I use 4 mini or Persian cucumbers to make a jar of cucumber kimchi.

VEGETABLES: I like to add carrots, onion and garlic.

SALT: You might think that 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt looks like a lot, however it’s added to draw the excess moisture out of the vegetables before being washed off.

CHILI: I add 2 1/2 tablespoons of Korean red chili pepper powder which adds a lovely kick of heat to the cucumber. You can reduce this if you want your kimchi to be less spicy.

VINEGAR: Rice vinegar adds to the sourness to the fermenting sauce.

SOY SAUCE: I love adding soy sauce for the salty element it adds to the fermenting sauce.

OIL: Sesame oil adds a wonderful smoky flavor to the fermenting sauce.

SUGAR: The sugar balances the sour, salty and spicy flavors in the fermenting sauce.  

GARNISH: Once you are ready to serve, garnish with sesame seeds.

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi in a white bowl.

HOW TO MAKE CUCUMBER KIMCHI:

PREPARE THE VEGETABLES. Start by slicing the cucumbers and carrots evenly into approximately 1/2 inch sections. Cut half of a medium sized onion in slices and place all the vegetables into a medium sized bowl. 

SALT THE VEGETABLES. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables and mix well until the salt has evenly coated all of the vegetable slices. Now set the bowl aside on the counter top and allow the vegetables to stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. (See tip below).

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi vegetables in a bowl.

PREPARE THE FERMENTING SAUCE. In the meantime, finely mince the fresh garlic cloves and place into a small bowl along with the Korean red chili pepper powder, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar.

Mix  thoroughly until sauce is fully combined and the sugar has dissolved. 

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi sauce in a bowl.

DRAIN THE VEGETABLES. Once the vegetables have finished soaking in the salt, drain away the excess water from the bottom of the bowl.

Rinse the vegetables thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.  Afterwards, return the vegetables to mixing bowl. 

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi sauce going into bowl.

FINISH THE KIMCHI. Combine the vegetables with the sauce. Serve immediately, garnishing with sesame seeds once plated. 

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi with tongs.

RECIPE HINTS & TIPS:

  • You will know that your vegetables are done sitting in the salt mixture when there is a good  amount of water at the bottom of your bowl and your vegetables are “flexible”, meaning you  can slightly bend them. 
  • Taking time to properly salt the vegetables will make all the difference. Add only what is asked for in the recipe, as too much salt will kill all the good bacteria. Whereas, too little salt won’t kill the bad bacteria.
  • Ensure the vegetables are always submerged under the liquid in the jar. This will keep them fresher longer and stop them from drying out.
  • You can mix up the vegetables that you add to the mixture. Some I like are sliced bell peppers, zucchini or shredded white or red cabbage.
  • Grate a piece of fresh root ginger to add flavor the kimchi.

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi with chopsticks.

IS QUICK KIMCHI FERMENTED?

No, it is not. The main difference between fresh and fermented kimchi is the presence of probiotic bacteria.

During the fermentation process, the sugars and starches are turned into lactic acid.

Lactic acid lowers the pH level, thus eliminating harmful bacteria.

However, the acid also affects the flavor of kimchi which becomes stronger and sourer.

HOW TO SERVE KOREAN CUCUMBER KIMCHI:

These crunchy veggies are the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors. This makes my easy cucumber kimchi an ideal accompaniment to many dishes.

Serve them as you would any vegetable side, salad or slaw where you want that extra crunch.

They are delicious with my Easy Korean Noodles, Asian Marinated Flank Steak, or add them to my Asian Honey Sesame Chicken Sliders.

Add serious crunch to my  Asian Pork Lettuce WrapsThai Turkey Brown Rice Lettuce Wraps, or these Asian Chicken Zoodle Lettuce Wraps.

I love adding them to rice bowls like my Slow Cooker Cuban Pork Rice BowlMediterranean Buddha BowlChicken Shawarma Rice Bowl or this Mediterranean Baked Turkey Meatball Rice Bowl. 

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi with logo.

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi

Yield: 1 jar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 mini or Persian cucumbers 2 small carrots
  • Half of a medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper powder
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

    1. Slice the cucumbers and carrots evenly in approximately 1/2 inch sections. Cut half of the medium onion in slices and place all vegetables in a medium sized bowl.
    2. Sprinkle salt on vegetables and mix well until salt has evenly coated all of the vegetable slices. Let vegetables stand in bowl for 20 minutes at room temperature. (See tip)
    3. In the meantime, finely mince fresh garlic cloves and place in a small bowl along with the Korean red chili pepper powder, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Mix thoroughly until sauce is fully combined.
    4. After the vegetables have finished soaking in the salt, drain the excess water at the bottom of the bowl, rinse the vegetables thoroughly with water and pat dry with paper towels. Afterwards, return vegetables to mixing bowl.
    5. Combine vegetables and sauce until mixture is well incorporated and serve.
    6. Optional: this dish may be garnished with sesame seeds after plating.

Notes

This version is a quick version so it is not fermented. A fermented version would use more salt and would sit a lot longer to ferment.

You will know that your vegetables are done sitting in the salt mixture when there is a good amount of water at the bottom of your bowl and your vegetables are “flexible” meaning you can slightly bend them. (See picture of bending cucumber slice”.
To store, place in a glass mason jar and refrigerate for up to one week.

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Coriander

Thursday 28th of April 2022

This recipe looks great and I'm about to print it out for my binders; but how are these fermented vegetables?

Coriander

Thursday 28th of April 2022

@Julia, this will be on the supper table tonight!

Julia

Thursday 28th of April 2022

You are correct- because this is 30 minutes it isn't fermented. It should not say that- it should explain;ain that for kimchi to be fermented it has to sit longer and uses more salt. This is a non-fermented kind of kimchi cucumbers. Sorry about the confusion.

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