Kimchi is a Korean side dish usually made from fermented vegetables. There are many varieties available, the most familiar one for the non-Korean people probably being the one with the salted napa cabbage. However, the version mentioned in this recipe is one of the few that do not have to ferment to be great, which means you can enjoy it as soon as you make it.
• 2 pounds kirby cucumbers (9 or 10 cucumbers) or 4 4½ inch long small, thin cucumbers
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 1 cup buchu (Asian chives), chopped into ½ inch pieces
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks (about 1 cup)
• 1 cup onion, sliced thinly
• ½ cup mild hot pepper flakes
• 3 tablespoons fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Wash the cucumbers.
Slice them lengthwise twice under the right angle starting about 1/2 inch from one end and going all the way to the other, so the quarters are still connected at one side.
Put the cucumbers in a big bowl, sprinkle and rub the salt inside and out of them.
Let them sit for 10 minutes and then turn them over so they are evenly salted (the salty water that comes out of them will be all on the bottom of the bowl), then let them sit for another 10 minutes.
Chop buchu, onion, and carrot. Crush and mince garlic, then add them to the bowl.
Mix in the seasonings – mild hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar.
Add the water and the sesame seeds. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Rinse the cucumbers in cold water to remove excess salt.
Drain them and stuff with seasoning mix.
Tips and ideas:
You can serve kimchi immediately as a side dish for rice and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. But if you prefer it being a bit fermented, leave the container with it at room temperature for a couple of days, so it will taste a little bit sour and pickled. Then put it into the refrigerator and serve cold.
You can also make a soup to go with it. But not the spicy one, because the kimchi is spicy enough by itself.
If you have sensitive skin, wear rubber gloves while filling the cucumbers with the kimchi paste, because the paste might irritate your hands.
Images – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApQUENQbgiY