Quick Kimchi Cucumber Pickle
I found this recipe here and have adapted it a bit. The combination of flavors suggested Thai to me, so I add some fresh mint and I love the result.
There is such a thing as Kimchi cucumbers and I have tried making them but there must be something I don't understand because the result was not appealing. Come to think of it, it is the only ferment I ever recall throwing out.
These cucumbers are lightly pickled in rice vinegar. I have had them last up to 6 months in the fridge with good color and crunch. They are at their very best after a day in the fridge.
I like the little 2 lb bags of mini cucumbers for this. They make lovely little half moons sliced ¼-½ inch thick. This recipe is based on the weight of cucumbers, so read the ingredients list with this in mind.
Per pound of mini cucumbers:
Slice cucumbers lengthwise in half, then in ¼-½ inch half moons
1 tsp coarse sea salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced as thin as you can
1 ¼ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp gochugaru Korean chile powder
2 tsp sugar
½ - 1 tsp fish sauce
As you slice the cucumbers, layer them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let them rest at room temperature for an hour or so to remove some moisture. This will encourage them to absorb the flavors.
In another bowl work up your remaining ingredients into a paste.
When ready, rinse the cucumbers to remove most of the salt. Tap water is fine. Stir in the paste with a wooden spoon. Spoon everything into your jar and press down to release juices.
Pop it into the fridge overnight. This mixture will retain color and crunch for weeks. It is at absolute best the following day.