Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi
Updated: Aug 23, 2022
Looking for the perfect slightly spicy, fresh and crunchy side dish? This quick Korean cucumber kimchi is a perfect combination of spice, tanginess, and umami! It is so easy to make and tastes even better the next day once it has had a chance to marinate in the delicious gochujang sauce! I have upgraded this recipe with a gluten free gochujang and whole food ingredients so you can feel great about paring this as a nutritious side dish to any meal!
Growing up, this was an absolute must and staple in my house. Whenever my mom was making Korean food for dinner, this was always on the menu, simply because it was and still is my favorite Korean side dish! The thin sliced cucumbers coated in a crave-able sweet and spicy sauce are the things dreams are made of. I know you will love this delicious dish as much as my family and I do!
Why Cucumbers are So Good For You!
Cucumbers are a fantastic source vitamins, minerals, fiber and water! They are delicious prepared in a dish like this cucumber kimchi, tossed in a salad, or even eaten plain as a snack with hummus or a blue cheese dip!
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is essential in bone health and it is converted to vitamin K2 by our gut microbiome, which supports our heart health!
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant our bodies use to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it supports healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.
Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function .
Potassium: Potassium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and it is an essential electrolyte necessary in nervous system function, metabolism, hydration, and in regulating your heartbeat .
There are more benefits to eating cucumbers, they are full of fiber to support a healthy and optimized digestive tract! They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber:
Insoluble fiber: Works to keep things moving along and helps with toxin and waste elimination.
Soluble fiber : Soluble fiber works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.
So grab some fresh cucumbers and let's get cooking!
Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi Ingredients
2 English Cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Gochujang or Gluten-Free Gochujang (omit for Paleo/Whole30)
1 tsp Korean Gochugaru Flakes
1 tsp Pure Sesame Seed Oil
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Fresh Green Onions (about 2 stalks), diced
2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Sesame Seeds (opt)
How to Make Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi
1. Thinly slice the cucumbers (I prefer a mandolin) and place them into a colander.
2. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and toss to mix well, set aside for 15-minutes to allow some of the water to release from the cucumber.
3. While the cucumbers are sitting, add to a medium bowl the gochujang, garlic, sesame seed oil, maple syrup, gochugaru flakes, and black pepper, stir or whisk to combine.
4. Once the cucumbers are ready, grab a handful at a time and hand squeeze out the excess water, don't over do it, you just want to remove most of the water so the dish isn't too watery. Add them to a large bowl.
5. To the cucumbers, add the green onions, sesame seeds and gochujang sauce, stir well.
Q: Do I have to salt the cucumbers before hand?
A: Yes, this is a critical step in removing some of the water so the kimchi isn't too watery.
Q: How to I make this less spicy?
A: Omit the gochujang and just add the gochujaru flakes for a milder version.
Q: What other types of cucumbers can I use for this?
A: You can use any kind really, I prefer English or Persian since they are less "seedy" and have a more delicate skin. If I can only find American slicing, I usually peel them and de-seed them.
If you like this recipe, check these out!
Korean Gochujang Wings: Slightly sweet and deliciously spicy Korean chicken wings that are so tasty they are finger licking good!
Korean Spinach Salad (Sigeumchi Namul): This easy, super nutritious, sesame seasoned spinach dish is so delicious and a must have staple in my house whenever we have any Asian style meals.
Ultimate Bacon Fried Rice: You haven't had a fried rice like this before, salty bacon, earthy peppers, and tender eggs come together to make the best fried rice that is ready in less than 30-minutes.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy