I am obsessed with making various types of Kimchi and my latest experiment has been with Cucumbers. Usually Cucumber Kimchi involves slicing the sides of the Cucumber and stuffing in the seasonings, but I like my vegetables to be in bite sized pieces. And, it also takes longer to ferment that way. I didn't feel like waiting several days before I could eat it - I only lasted until the next morning to try this version and it was so good that I am going to go ahead and post it. I'm sure it will get more authentic as the days go by - if it lasts that long! I have to admit though, I like how crunchy the cucumbers are this way and I didn't make it too spicy either. It basically is a salad until it ferments. Either way, this would make a lovely side dish to a Korean meal of Bulgogi or a Tofu Hotpot. As with all Kimchi recipes, the only exotic thing is to buy Gochugaru, which is coarse Korean Red Pepper Powder. You can get it at an Asian Market and I've even found it on Amazon. Anyway, I will let you know how it turns out when it actually ferments a few days from now. But in the meantime, try this, I think you'll like it too.
Quick Cucumber Kimchi
1 pound Persian Cucumbers cut into slices about 1/4" thick (can also use regular Cucumbers - peeled, cut in half and deseeded and then cut into slices)
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 Green Onions, stem removed and cut into small pieces
1 heaping Tablespoon Gochugaru - Korean Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Tamari
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon minced fresh Ginger
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
Put the Cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle them with the Salt. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Then add the Garlic, Green Onion, Korean Chili Powder, Tamari, Fish Sauce, Ginger and Sugar. Toss to coat and place in a glass container. Put in the refrigerator and let sit overnight (at least) before serving. Will keep for several weeks and ferment as time goes on.
Five Element Analysis
Cucumbers are an Earth food so that element is covered and the Napa Cabbage and ginger add even more and some of the Metal Element too. The Garlic and Onions contribute even more of the Metal Element.The Water Element is represented by the Fish Sauce and Tamari and the Wood Element is seen in the fermentation process. The Korean Chili Powder contributes lots of the Fire Element so this dish becomes perfectly balanced!