This easy cucumber kimchi is really quick and simple to make. It can be ready to eat in just a couple of hours and is perfect as a vibrant accompaniment to stir fries, rice or meat dishes.
There was a time when I was younger when I first tried kimchi and I thought it was something I would never ever eat again. However, times have changed and I love kimchi. Any kind of kimchi. In fact, I often have a jar on the go in the fridge as it's such a good way of adding a little extra flavour to a dish.
This quick and easy cucumber kimchi is more of a salad really than a traditional kimchi recipe. However, it has all the right flavours and is perfect for pepping up all kinds of meals. I love it as part of a rice bowl but it's also equally good just with couscous. Why be traditional? It adds loads of flavour to a barbecue as a side dish with pork, chicken or ribs.
What ingredients do you need for cucumber kimchi?
To make this quick and easy Korean cucumber kimchi you'll need:
- Cucumbers - I used mini cucumbers as they were the perfect size when sliced into rounds. However, you can use larger cucumbers as well.
- Salt - This draws the water out of the cucumber first and seasons it.
- Garlic - You can use a fresh crushed garlic clove or a garlic paste or puree. You could even use a garlic powder.
- Ginger - You can use a ginger puree or grated root ginger.
- Sugar - A little sugar balances out the flavour but won't make it too sweet.
- Vinegar - Rice vinegar is traditional but I have also used coconut vinegar for kimchi and even white wine vinegar works if you don't have rice vinegar
- Fish sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
- Gochugaru - These are Korean red chilli pepper flakes and are definitely the best ones to get for kimchi if you can. However, if you want to make this and don't want to buy another kind of chilli pepper flake then you can substitute it with what you have. For example I have made this with aleppo chilli flakes in the past and it was just as good!
How do you make cucumber kimchi?
This quick cucumber kimchi is really simple to make. First you need to slice the cucumber. I cut it into rounds about 2mm thick. Put it in a bowl and mix the salt into it. I use my hands to mix it to make sure the salt really coats it well. This helps to draw out any excess water and also helps the flavours to better soak into the cucumber aftewards.
After half an hour you can rinse the salt off and pat the cucumber dry with kitchen paper.
Mix together all the other ingredients. Taste and check that you like the flavour. You can then adjust any of the ingredients before adding the cucumber.
Stir the cucumber into the sauce and put it in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
How long does this quick cucumber kimchi last?
If you keep it in an airtight container it will keep for at least 5 days in the fridge. The cucumber can release more water over time though so it might not have such a crisp texture.
Can you adapt the recipe?
Yes of course! As I mentioned earlier, you can use a different kind of dried chilli pepper to make this, especially if you don't want to buy gochugaru for just one recipe.
You can also add more ginger and garlic if you want a stronger aromatic flavour.
If you want to make this into a vegan recipe you can use soy sauce instead of fish sauce although it will alter the flavour a little.
More tasty cucumber recipes
If you like making recipes with cucumber then why not try one of these:
Quick and Easy Cucumber Kimchi
- 350 g mini cucumbers sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 teaspoon ginger puree or grated root ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru Korean red chilli pepper flakes
- 1 onion finely sliced
- Put the sliced cucumbers in a bowl and mix in the salt. Leave for 30 minutes.350 g mini cucumbers, 1 teaspoon salt
- Rinse and dry the cucumber slices.
- Mix together all the other ingredients. Then stir in the cucumber and onion.1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon ginger puree, 1 teaspoon sugar, 3 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 onion, 1 tablespoon gochugaru
- Put in the fridge to rest for a couple of hours for the flavours to soak into the cucumber.
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Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this easy cucumber kimchi or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.