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.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
2 1/2 cups
Quick Cucumber Kimchi
© John Kernick


  • 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


  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.

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