Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Traditional Korean kimchi usually involves tossing vegetables with garlic, salt, chiles and other flavorings and letting them ferment for days. Bill Kim marinates these cucumbers for just two hours, so they’re still crisp.

Slideshow: Cucumber Recipes
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  • Servings: 2 1/2 cups


  • 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup untoasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Thai or sweet basil
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean coarse red pepper powder; see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

How to make this recipe

  1. In a colander, toss the sliced cucumbers with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers and drain well.

  2. In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers with all of the remaining ingredients and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Season the kimchi with salt and serve.


Gochugaru is available at Korean markets and at hmart.com.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published July 2013

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