Earlier this year, I mentioned how much I missed making pickles. Before you turn your nose up, there’s more to life than just fermented cabbage. It’s a wonderful way to add spice to your diet, and the benefits to your health is an added bonus. While I love cabbage, many don’t. There’s a delicious variation on kimchi, and that’s using the one of the most bounteous of summer gardens – the cucumber.
Not only do they lend themselves to low-calorie snacking, but:
- a zesty addition to an antipasto platter or backyard BBQ sides
- Finely dice one and toss into gazpacho or salsa
- a garnish for Bloody Mary
The true beauty is this can be adjusted for heat, saltiness, and like (or dislike) of garlic. I want to them to be as crunchy, spicy and stinky as possible, but that’s just me and I love the burn! The recipe below is courtesy of David Chang for Food & Wine:
1 pound cucumbers, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch spears
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Korean red chile flakes or 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced strips of peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp (optional), minced
1 small carrot and 1 scallion, thinly sliced into 2-inch matchsticks
1/4 small onion, thinly sliced
- In a colander, toss the cucumbers with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar and let stand for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar with the chile flakes, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce and dried shrimp. Toss in the carrot, scallion, onion and cucumbers. Arrange the cucumbers in a shallow dish, spooning the shredded vegetables and liquid on top. Let stand for 15 minutes, turning once or twice, then serve.