This recipe is at the intersection of the ease of quick pickling and the full-on flavor of a long-fermented kimchi. It’s best in the summer, when flavorful and sturdy Kirby cucumbers are in season, and there are hot dogs around to put them on.
- 1 lb Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2"-wide spears
- 2 1/2 T sugar
- 1 1/2 t kosher salt
- 1 1/2 T kochukaru (Korean chile powder)
- 1 1/2 T thinly sliced strips peeled fresh ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 T fish sauce
- 1 T usukuchi (light soy sauce)
- 1/2 t jarred salted shrimp (optional)
- 1 small carrot, cut into 2" matchsticks
- 1 scallion (green and white), cut into 2" matchsticks
- 1/4 small onion, thinly sliced
Toss the cucumbers with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl. Let stand for about 10 minutes, until they’ve given up some of their juice and softened lightly.
Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt with the kochukaru, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, and dried shrimp in a medium bowl. Toss in the carrot, scallion, onion, and drained cucumbers. Toss well, and let sit for 15 minutes, then serve or store. Cucumber kimchi keeps in the fridge for up to a couple weeks, getting softer and stinkier with each passing day.