You will want to use small, firm cucumbers. The filling ingredients are up to you – chives, radish, and carrots work well for filler and garlic, fish sauce, and ginger are good seasonings.
You can serve whole and let people cut them up themselves (the stuffed kimchi are very attractive) or chop them into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Cucumber Kimchi – Oi Sobaegi
- 1 lb. small cucumbers
- 2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
- 1/3 cup. Korean chili flakes
- 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
filling options: (you can put in all of these or adjust the quantities to your taste)
- 1 c. finely chopped garlic chives (sometimes called Chinese chives)
- 1/4 c. shredded daikon radish
- 1/4 c. finely shredded carrots
- 4-6 thinly sliced or minced green onions
- 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 Tbsp. grated ginger
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame seeds
Carefully cut the cucumbers into 3-4″ long pieces, then – very carefully – cut each cucumber lengthwise but without cutting it all the way to the end, making a cross cut that goes down the middle but is held together at the end.
Stuff each cucumber with about 1/2 tsp. salt and let sit to crisp, about 30 minutes.
Mix together the chili flakes and sugar, then stir in the filling ingredients. You’ll want to cut your filling ingredients into very small pieces. I’ve done it with longer chunks of chives, for instance, and it was a bit messy to stuff in.
Rinse the salt away from the cucumbers first and let them drain a bit. Gently open them up and stuff the filling in, smearing any extra on the outside.