While not traditional kimchi, this is a common Korean dish. It's a quick and flavorful side and a perfect solution to satisfy a kimchi craving. It's also more appealing for non-kimchi lovers.
1 large English cucumber, or kirby cucumbers (about 16 oz.)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar, or another high quality vinegar
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 small red onion, sliced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, or 1/2 tsp. minced
2 tsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. Gochugaru: Korean Chile Powder
1. Slice cucumbers.
2. Place in glass bowl and mix well with salt. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
3. Combine vinegar, garlic, red onion, ginger, maple syrup, fish sauce and Gochugaru.
4. Drain liquid from cucumbers. Toss salted cucumbers with vinegar mixture.
5. Enjoy right away or store in fridge. (See notes)
Any cucumber will work, but I recommend a thin skinned variety. Depending on the cucumber that you use, they'll last up to about a week in the fridge, but will get increasingly soft as they age. Kirby cucumbers will keep crisp a bit longer than other varieties.
Gochugaru is not standard in most grocery stores, but it's well worth acquiring some! It's quite different from American chile powder. It has a mellow and distinct flavor that's lovely sprinkled on just about any savory dish. A good quality organic gochugaru can be purchased on Amazon.
If you're not up for fish sauce, substitute a high quality soy sauce.
For variety, add 1/4 tsp. sesame oil.
I used red onion, because I like the crunch; however, you could use more traditional green onions, if desired.
I use ginger that I have peeled, frozen and grated on a microplaner. It's really fluffy and doesn't measure easily, so I just eyeball it. If you like things spicy, add more ginger or cayenne.
The flavor is delicious, so really any vegetable goes. Enjoy!