Monday, August 19, 2013

Cucumber Kimchi!! (오이 김치)

Hello everyone!

When you think of Korean food, one of the first dishes you probably think of is Kimchi.  It's a national dish of Korea (yes, Korea does have a national dish  haha) and there are more than 60 different varieties of Kimchi! I know. crazy.  When I was growing up in Korea, I think I had kimchi for every single meal, including breakfast.  In our family, breakfast was treated just like any other meal, so moving to the U.S. and having 'breakfast foods' like bagels, eggs, cereal, etc was very different for me.

Anyway, making Kimchi was always such a huge event at our house involving my parents, sometimes family friends, and sometimes us children for the little tasks (probably because we would make like 50 pounds of it at a time), so when I made Kkackdugi (깍두기) last year with David, I felt oh so grown up afterwards  =p

When I was at home this summer, I learned to make another kind of Kimchi!  Cucumber Kimchi!!  (오이 김치)  Yay, 2 down, 60 some more to go! haha  Anyway, this is one of my favorite kinds of Kimchi, so I'm uber excited to be making it this year!

YUUUMMM  doesn't this just look so good?!  It's the perfect summer Kimchi because it's so refreshing!

ok, so what you'll need

5-6 Asian cucumbers (they are about 1.5 inches in diameter and 7-8 inches long)
2 bunches of chives
1 bunch of green onions
1/2 cup coarse salt + 2 Tbs salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs ginger, minced
3 Tbs red pepper flakes
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs sesame seeds
2 Tbs brown sugar

Let us begin!

1.  Wash your cucumbers really well (this is important since we won't be peeling the skins off) and cut them into 1.5 inch segments.

2.  Then, almost cut your cucumber segments into fourths.  the 'almost' part is very important!  You don't want to cut it all the way through--leave about half an inch or so at the bottom--so that you can separate the cucumber quarters a little bit, but when you let go, they return to their closed state.

3.  Put all of the prepared cucumbers into a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 cup of salt over them, making sure to get the salt in between the quarters!  Let them sit like so for 20 minutes.

4.  In the meantime, wash your chives and green onions and cut them up into little pieces, like so

5.  Do the same with the ginger and the garlic, then mix together the minced chives, green onions, garlic, ginger, 2 tsp of salt, 3 Tbs red pepper flakes, 1 Tbs fish sauce, 1Tbs sesame seeds, and 2 Tbs of brown sugar!

6. after 20 minutes of the cucumbers soaking in the salt solution, mix them around (there should be some water at the bottom) and let them sit for another 10 minutes.

7.  after 30 minutes total of waiting in the salt water, it's time to wash the cucumbers!  In Korean, we say that they were 'alive' before the salting, and then 'dead' after the salting... I know,, a bit morbid..  haha

8.  Anyway, then take your 'dead' cucumbers, and stuff them with the chives/green onion mixture like so!

9.  Repeat for the rest of your cucumbers, and you're all done!!  TADA!!

See?  so simple!  My favorite kind of recipe  ;)

I hope you enjoy making your own cucumber Kimchi!  It's especially useful if you have a green thumb and don't know what to do with all of the cucumbers your garden is producing.  Sadly, that is not me, so I'll have to make do with the store-bought ones, but hey, either way, it's still delicious!  ;)

Happy Monday!

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