Cucumber Kimchi (OI KIMCHI)

One of the most beloved versions of kimchi takes a bit of time, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. This kimchi tastes great on top of my Krazy Korean Burgers, as well as a different take on the American pickle.

Ingredients

MAKES ABOUT 1 LITRE (13⁄4 PINTS)

  • 450 g (1 lb) small Korean cucumbers (oi) or Kirbies (about 4 total)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 1 tbsp salted shrimp (saewoo jeot), rinsed
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 (2.5 cm/1 in) knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 15 fresh chives, cut into 5 cm (2 in) pieces

Method

  1. Using a small knife, cut each cucumber cross- ways into 5 cm (2 in) pieces. Stand the pieces on their cut sides and cut each one two-thirds of the way down into quarters, keeping them attached at the bottom. Sprinkle the cucumbers with the salt, spreading the cucumbers open to get the salt deep inside the cuts. Arrange the cucumbers with their cross cut sides up in a single layer in a glass or other non-reactive container, at least 5 cm (2 in) tall, with a tight-fitting lid, cover and leave to soften at room temperature for 30 minutes–1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the onion, spring onions, chilli flakes, shrimp, garlic, ginger and 2 tablespoons water. Pulse until a coarse spice paste forms, then stir in the chives.
  3. Rinse the salted cucumbers well under cold water, making sure to rid the crevices of all the salt. Shake dry and then press the spice paste all over and into the crevices of each piece. Return the cucumbers to the (rinsed) container, cross cut sides up, packing them somewhat tightly and pressing in any remaining spice paste and liquid. Cover and leave the cucumbers to ferment at room temperature for about 24 hours. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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