Quick Kimchi Cucumbers


Koreans eat kimchi—a garlicky, chile-laden pickle—at almost every meal. Traditionally, kimchi needs days, even weeks, to ferment, but David Chang's kimchi is ready in 45 minutes. A highly addictive hot dog condiment, it's best served right away, when the cucumbers are still juicy.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
1 pound


  • 1 pound Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch spears

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Korean red chile flakes or 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced strips of peeled fresh ginger

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp (optional), minced

  • 1 small carrot and 1 scallion, thinly sliced into 2-inch matchsticks

  • 1/4 small onion, thinly sliced


  1. In a colander, toss the cucumbers with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar and let stand for 10 minutes.

  2. In a bowl, mix the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar with the chile flakes, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce and dried shrimp. Toss in the carrot, scallion, onion and cucumbers. Arrange the cucumbers in a shallow dish, spooning the shredded vegetables and liquid on top. Let stand for 15 minutes, turning once or twice, then serve.

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