Monday, January 21, 2013

Cucumber Kimchi

I brought some cucumber kimchi from my recent trip from Seoul. It's long gone now because Hubby and I really enjoyed it.

I'm trying my hand into making one from scratch.

My cucumber kimchi is currently fermenting at the fridge. I sure hope it turns out ok.

I will know in a few days at least. We tried eating a piece yesterday with just one day fermentation. It turned out great and spicy. But I think it needs a few more days for the flavors to really meld together.

I think I will be making this on a regular basis. I adapted Maangchi's recipe (without the carrots). I doubled the kimchi mix because I felt that the original recipe was a little short for my needs. Here's my adjusted version:

4 large cucumbers
1 small white onion, sliced
2 pcs leeks, sliced, white portion only
2 bunches chives, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Thai fish sauce
1 cup hot pepper flakes
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Wash the cucumbers and cut them in half. Make a "cross" but don't go all the way through. This is where you will stuff the kimchi mix later.

2. Sprinkle sea salt or rock salt on the cucumbers, toss and let stand for half an hour.

3. To make the kimchi mix, get a clean mixing bowl, mix together the fish sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, onions, leeks and chives. Mix well. Set aside.

4. After thirty minutes, wash the cucumbers and dry them with a paper towel.

5. Stuff your kimchi mixture between the slots in the cucumber and rub them all over. I suggest you use gloves to do this. The smell of the spices and onions will cling to your hands for hours. (Okay, learned that the hard way.)

6. Place the cucumbers, mix and all in a ceramic pot, cover and refrigerate for a few days.

It's gonna be stinky but worth it :-)

You can buy hot pepper flakes in Japanese and Korean supermarkets. It's cheaper to get a whole bag. I got mine for less than P250 a bag and it's probably good for 3-4 uses, depending on how spicy you want your kimchi to be.

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