We're proud to present a recipe for cucumber kimchi, which is easy to make and full of complex flavour. Listen to our chat with chef Heather Jeong as she reveals the trick to maintaining the crunchiness of the cucumber, even after fermentation.
- 6 Korean cucumbers or Lebanese cucumbers (see Note)
- 2-2½ tbsp coarse sea salt or pickling salt
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cm ginger, finely minced
- 30 g (¼ cup) kochugaru (Korean chilli powder)
- 2 green onions (shallots), chopped
- 1 cup garlic chives, finely sliced
- ¼ onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Fermenting time 1 day
Wash cucumbers thoroughly under cold running water. Cut cucumbers into thirds. Cut cucumbers lengthways into quarters, leaving about 2 cm at the base uncut. Sprinkle the cucumbers inside and out with salt and leave in a bowl for at least 15 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Drain the cucumbers of excess water.
Combine all the other ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Stuff the cucumbers with this mixture.
Place cucumber kimchi in good-quality containers or a glass jar. Leave to ferment for 24 hours at room temperature and store in the fridge thereafter.
• Cucumbers can be washed using a small amount of salt if there is plenty of grit on the skin.
• Vegetarians can omit the fish sauce.
Photography by Alan Benson