Fermented Cucumber Kimchi-Style
About The Recipe
Pickled cucumber is an indispensable and irresistible condiment that can be found in most of our favourite grocery stores.. Chopped or sliced gherkins make a tasty and refreshing flavor enhancer to sandwiches, salads or grilled meats. Imagine a burger without sliced pickles? Harsh, I know. However, as good as pickled cucumbers are, any good/creative cook will admit that there’s always room for a little variety. This recipe demonstrates how ordinary pickled cucumber can be beautifully reinvented Korean style. Still crisp and sour but with a fiery edge that both ordinary pickle and kimchi fans will love. Once you try this recipe, trust us there’s no going back to plain old dill pickles.
Fun fact, while most of us take cucumbers for a veggie they are in fact a fruit. Part of the Cucurbitaceae group, cucumbers belong to the same plant family as squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. The cucumber is originally from South Asia, but now grows on most continents. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and seedless. Being 95 percent water, they keep you hydrated while filling your belly at the same time. A sort of meal and drink in one!
Cucumber kimchi tops the body up with beneficial microbes that the modern diet fails to provide. The probiotic properties in kimchi help to keep your gastrointestinal tract properly balanced. Rich in lactobacilli bacteria, a powerful antioxidative and immune stimulant, that keeps your gut fighting fit. A healthy gut equals a healthy body with less stress, less infections, and less digestion issues.
- Cucumbers are good sources of phytonutrients (plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties.)
- Cucumbers are naturally low in calories, carbohydrates, sodium, fat and cholesterol.
- A good source of vitamins A, B, and K.
- High in dietary fiber and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cucumbers contain several antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese.
- Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans which may help to lower your risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
All it takes is a daily dose of 1-2 tablespoons of this delicious ferment to reap long term health benefits. Cucumber kimchi tastes fantastic and is easily incorporated with everyday meals. The peel and seeds are the most nutrient-dense parts of the cucumber, so make sure to use them up. Some kimchi recipes suggest scraping and discarding the seeds. However, if you wish to leave in the seeds, go right ahead as this does not affect the awesome flavor or fermentation process.
Let’s Get started
Oi Sobagi (cucumber kimchi) is super fast to prepare delivering refreshing, tangy-spicy results. In Korea, Oi Sobagi is enjoyed during the spring and summer time when cucumbers are in season. When selecting cucumbers for kimchi practically any variety will do the trick although, traditionally cucumbers with less seeds were chosen.
What You Need
- 2 Regular sized unwaxed english cucumbers
- 1 ½ Tbsp unrefined sea salt
- 1 to 5 Tbsp gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
- 4 Green onions (scallions,) cut into 1/2″ pieces
- Easy Fermenter Lids (not required)
- Fermenting Weights (not required)
- Thoroughly wash, pat dry and quarter each cucumber lengthwise into 2 spears. Remove seads from each half. Chop each quarter crosswise into chunks approximately 3/4″ thick.
- Place the cucumber pieces in a bowl and toss with 1 ½ tbsp salt. Let stand for 10 mins.
- Rinse the cucumbers under cold water and drain.
- In a bowl, combine the cucumbers with the green onion and chili powder and toss well.
- Spoon mixture into a pre-sterilized, wide mouth mason glass jar. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace.
- Cover the jar with the Easy Fermenter Lid and place the Fermentation Weights in the jar to ensure perfect fermentation results.
- Store in a cool, dark place (room temperature 60-70°F is preferred,) for 1 to 2 weeks.
- Once jar has been opened, move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop as the kimchi ages.
Savor your delicious Oi Sobagi kimchi in the same way you would regular pickles. Add them to sandwiches, salads or enjoy with dumplings or spring rolls. It tastes fantastic as an accompaniment to Asian curries and grilled meats. Kids will love its tangy, crunch too. Don’t believe us? At your next bbq/gathering leave out a bowl of regular gherkins and a bowl of cucumber kimchi and see which disappears faster.
Variations To The Ferment
You could add slivers of carrots, parsnip, garlic, radish or ginger (to name a few ingredients) to your cucumber kimchi. If you’re not going for “authentic,” turn up the heat by throwing in chopped jalapenos. This versatile condiment is so easy to experiment with, and so hard to go wrong with.
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