Oi Sobaggi 오이소박이 (Cucumber Kimchi) Recipe

Stuff and lightly ferment cucumbers with a spicy, garlicky dressing in this refreshing, bright rendition of kimchi, traditionally served as a summer side dish in Korea.
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Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Makes: 2 pounds|900 grams
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

for the cucumber brine:
3 medium cucumbers 
1 ½ tablespoons Korean sea salt

for the dressing:
2 tablespoons gochugaru 
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon salted shrimp or anchovy fish sauce, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon Korean sea salt
1 ½ ounce|40 grams chives, cut into 2-inch segments

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for the sauce:
¼ teaspoon Korean sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut the cucumbers: Wash the cucumbers well and cut them into 2-inch logs, then score the cucumbers the long way in 3 to 4 places, making sure you’re not cutting it all the way through, so that each cucumber log stays in one piece.
  2. Make the brine: Dissolve the salt in 2 cups|500 ml water in a large bowl or container and add the cucumber logs. Let sit for 2 hours, then drain the cucumbers into a colander for 30 minutes. 
  3. Make the dressing: Mix all of the ingredients (except the chives), in a small bowl and mix well. Add the chives and gently mix well using your hands. Stuff the cucumbers with the dressing where you’ve scored them. Place the stuffed cucumber into a large container.  
  4. Make the sauce: Mix the salt with 3 tablespoons of water, then pour over the cucumbers. Gently but firmly press down on the cucumbers so they’re packed tight and there is as little air as possible between the cucumbers. Store in the refrigerator. The cucumber kimchi is ready to eat immediately.

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