Okay, these are not my favorite things of summer but there is nothing like sipping lemonade on your porch and watching the whole world goes by in front of your eyes.
I am proud to present the “Cucumber Kimchee”, the kimchi of summer in Korea.
Cucumbers are in season and they are cheap. Grab a few and make some kimchi with them. You will be happy that you tried.
Let’s learn how to make these awesome cuke kimchi called “오이 소박이, Ooi Sobaggi”.
Welcome to Ooi Ooi kimchi camp. These are your camp buddies.
Kirby cucumbers, onion, garlic, radish, chives, salted shrimp, ginger, sugar, sea salt, anchovy sauce, Korean chili flakes, and a little bit of cooked rice.
Cut off the ends of cucumbers and cut each cucumber in half in the middle.
Give a cross slit to each log from the top toward the bottom but leave about 1/2″ from the base uncut.
This will hold the stuffing together later and lock the flavor and texture in.
Mix water with some salt and bring to full boil.
Meanwhile slice the radish into thin matchsticks. The thinner the better, but do not grate.
In a blender, process a tiny bit of cooked rice, water, garlic, and salted shrimp altogether.
You can add a tiny piece of fresh ginger if you are using fresh one.
Blend them well until you don’t see their existence.
In a mixing bowl combine radish slices, chopped onion, chopped chives, chili flakes, pureed ginger, anchovy sauce, and sugar.
Give them a nice massage until they turn into a red beauty.
Pour the rice shrimp puree over the filling and mix very well. Set aside.
Now, give yourself a few minutes to check your email, facebook, tweeter, or simply walk out to the old fashioned mailbox to be connected with outside world.
Get off from your social networking station and get back to work.
Your cucumbers should be nicely seasoned with salt by then. Rinse them briefly
and dry them with paper towel to remove extra moist outside.
Time for a fun part…
Open up their mouth on top. Be gentle, please.
Stuff each cucumber with about 1 Tbsp of filling into the crossed cracks toward the base.
Be careful not to break them.
Rub the outside with some chili filling as well. That’s it. You got it!
To serve, just slice the uncut bottom ends and spread the filling evenly over each pieces. I like to sprinkle a tiny bit of sesame seeds on top for a presentation.
Dang! I am salivating now.
Cucumber Kimchee (ooi sobaggi)
- 7-8 Kirby cucumbers or 3-4 English cucumbers
- 4 cups water
- 4 Tbsp sea salt
- 1/2 small bunch of Asian chive chopped
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 cups Korean radish sliced into thin matchsticks
For the filling:
- 1 Tbsp salted shrimp
- 2 Tbsp cooked white rice
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 piece of ginger size of a garlic clove
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup Korean chili flakes
- 4 Tbsp Korean anchovy sauce
- Cut the ends of each cucumber and cut in half in the middle. Each log should be about 2 - 2 1/2" long.
- Give a cross cut from the cut edged top of each log toward the bottom, but leave 1/2" uncut at the bottom so that it can hold the filling later on. Place all the cucumber pieces in a large bowl.
- In a pot, mix water with salt and bring to full boil. Pour the salted boiling water onto cucumbers in a bowl, and let them sit for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a filling. Combine salted shrimp, rice, water, garlic, ginger in a blender and puree until smooth. In a mixing bowl mix thin radish sticks, onions and chives. Add sugar, chili flakes, anchovy sauce and combine well. Pour the shrimp rice puree to the filling and mix very well with your hand. Set aside so that the radish will extract their moisture and get wilted.
- Drain the water out of cucumbers and rinse them with water briefly. Dry them with paper towels.
- Open up the cross cut top of cucumber gently with your hand, stuff with 1 - 2 Tbsp of filling, pushing toward the bottom ends without breaking the cucumbers.
- To store, stack them upright in an airtight container. Let them sit in a room temperature for 1 day and keep them in the fridge afterward. They will last up to a month or longer.
- To serve, after about 3 days of refrigeration, your kimchee is ready to serve. Slice the uncut bottom ends and spread filling to each pieces. Bite on! you will love the crunchiness. Enjoy!