Flavours of Korea


Oi Sobagi

Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi

Oi sobagi-- stuffed cucumber kimchi-- is another all-time favourite of mine. The key to making really good cucumber kimchi, advises Halmoni, is to pour boiling water over the cucumbers after they have been salted. This, for some reason, keeps them really crisp and crunchy for a longer period.

6 cucumbers (about 8 inches long)

3 tablespoons salt

6 spring onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped

1 small Korean radish, cut into fine matchsticks

4 tablespoons red pepper powder

1 tablespoon sugar

Cut the cucumbers either in half (if small), or in thirds (if large). Stand each segment on its end, and cut a cross down each one almost to the base (but do not separate). Sprinkle the cucumbers with the salt, and rub well in. Cover and set aside for about 2 hours (the time this takes depends on factors such as humidity, moisture level in the cucumbers, and other such factors). They should be wilted, but still have a "snap" when bent. When sufficiently salted, wipe off the excess salt, then pour boiling water over the cucumbers. Rinse well and refresh immediately in cold water.
Mix together the spring onions, garlic, ginger, radish, red pepper powder, and sugar. Wipe dry the cucumbers and stuff the mixture into the slits in each. Pack the stuffed cucumbers into sterile jars and and cover tightly. Allow to stand in a cool, dark place for at least a day, then transfer to a refrigerator. Serve well chilled. These pickled cucumbers will last for at least a few days, but they are at their best before they go soft or mushy.

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