Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cucumber KimChi

I'm not really sure where I got the idea to make cucumber kimchi, but I am so glad I made it. When we were in San Diego last year, we ate some of the best sushi that we have ever had. One of the rolls that we had was called the kitchen sink roll because it had everything in it. On top of that roll was some type of cucumber salad. I loved that salad and wish I had asked what was in it but there was a bit of a language barrier with our waitress. Any way, the other day I ate at Chilantro taco cart ( love those tacos!!) and you have an option to add traditional kimchi(usually made with cabbage instead of the cucumber) to the tacos and to their french fries. And it came to me that I need to try making Cucumber kimchi. So I searched the internet and found the recipe at the link below....


There were a few recipes that I found, but I ultimately decided on this one. I went to a Korean grocery store near the house (had no idea we had one this close) and picked up the red pepper flakes, which is really the base of the kimchi. I really liked the outcome, but I know it needs some tweaking. We used the kimchi on a grilled chicken taco with naan and it was fantastic. I loved the cool yet spicy crunch that it gave to the taco. I'll be searching for more things to use the kimchi and the red pepper flakes on. I now own a fairly large bag of the spice.

Start with about 15 to 20 small cucumbers, the kind that are used to make dill pickles. If you can't find small cucumbers, you can use about the equivalent amount of large cucumbers.
Give the cucumbers a good rinse, then chop them into bite-size pieces. Put them in a large bowl, add about two flat tablespoons of sea salt, and toss well.

Allow salted pickles to sit overnight at room temperature, or at least for a couple of hours. The salt helps draw moisture out of the cucumbers, which creates a natural brine.
Now add 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon of minced raw garlic

Wash and chop up three green onions - not three bunches, but three individual ribs.

For a little extra sweetness, chop up 1/4 of a small to medium yellow onion.

Now the part that makes any kim chi a real, authentic kim chi: add two flat tablespoons of fine red chili flakes.

Koreans call it ko choo kah rhoo, which literally means ground hot peppers.
If at all possible, please get some of this stuff from a local Korean grocery store so that you can be sure that you have the right kind for making kim chi. You can add ko choo kah rhoo to any number of dishes, of course, like miso soup and seasoned green beans. Koreans add ko choo kah rhoo to just about everything.

Now add a teaspoon of vinegar.

Add a Tablespoon of honey

Mix everything very well.

Now pack your cucumber kim chi away into glass bottles, and don't forget to add a bit of brine to each one - just a couple of tablespoons of brine per bottle will do.

All that's left to do at this point is to leave your bottles of cucumber kim chi out in room temperature for 24 to 48 hours to give it a chance to ferment. After 24 to 48 hours, transfer the bottles to your refrigerator. Well, shit. I totally didn't do this step.... guess I didn't look at the entire article. Now I am going to have to go back and redo this with ALL of the steps. Good thing this is very easy to do, so I'll be making batch #2 this weekend

Chicken tacos with naan, topped with the cucumber kimchi


Optimista said...

Doesn't sound as if missing that step was necessarily a bad thing, if it tasted great. I need to try this! I looooooooove pretty much any kind of Korean pickled veggie!

Dana said...

I loved the way it came out (with the missed step) but I am curious to see what will happen once I leave it out on the counter for 2 days.