Most of the recipes I post on here constitute of my, at the time, true obsessions. This could not be truer than it is for this cucumber kimchi recipe. I feel like I’ve been posting this all over; Instagram, YouTube, you name it! I eat this dish at least twice per week, especially lately since I’m growing my own cucumbers and since mangos are cheap this time of year! I love this kimchi for many reasons; it’s spicy but refreshing at the same time since it contains cool (raw) cucumbers and a delicious gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) spice mixture. You’ve seen me use this spice many many times on my YouTube channel, my Instagram page and here on the blog, if you have not yet been convinced to go out and buy this red amazingness, this recipe will definitely seal the deal.
I first stumbled across a thing called raw cucumber kimchi while watching Mommy Tang’s channel. She shows how to make her version of it during a mukbang where you could say I fell in love all over again. I had in fact never heard of such a thing as raw cucumber kimchi. Traditional cucumber kimchi, while very delicious, does not last long in the fridge due to its high water content, hence can’t be enjoyed over a long period of time like napa cabbage kimchi. Making this practically instant kimchi is quite genius, in my opinion, since you can make the exact amount you plan on eating right away and it all comes together under 10 minutes (even under 5 if you don’t let it sit prior to eating). I would recommend trying this out once and then making a mason jar full of the spice mixture for quicker turn-around. I have such a jar in my office at work right beside my little nutritional yeast mason jar and sriracha bottle.
There are two ways to prepare the cucumber prior to mixing it with the spice mixture, green onion and sesame oil; you can either slice it and go straight from there, or you can slice it and let it sit for 5-10 minutes with a bit of salt. If you decide to let it sit with salt, some liquid will seep out of the cucumber and the slices will have less bite afterwards. This is entirely optional; you should do what you prefer. For this version, I decided to omit the salting time and go straight to business because I personally prefer some bite!
From there, you will need to mix in the green onions, sesame seeds and the spice mixture written below in the ingredients list into the cucumber slices with a glove! I would highly recommend using a glove since the gochugaru is hot hot hot! It can definitely stain and burn your hand (and eye, yikes!). Finally, serve it with rice and mangos (like in this case) or as a side dish.
- 1 large cucumber or 2 smaller ones, sliced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1.5 - 2 tbs gochugaru
- 1 tbs sesame seeds
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sesame oil (or to taste)
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Fresh mango chunks
- Clean and slice the entire cucumber and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Optional : Sprinkle the salt at this stage of the process and mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften the cucumber.
- If you want, skip the previous step and add the salt along with all of the other ingredients listed above to the bowl.
- Mix well will gloves, squeezing the cucumber gently.
- Serve with sides of choice, in this case, white rice and fresh mango.