Cooking On The Couch: Cucumber Kimchi

NEW YORK (WLNY) – Kimchi is the heart and soul of Korean cuisine.

Chef Judy Joo, the host of Cooking Channel’s “Korean Food Made Simple,” stops by The Couch to show us how to make this delicious side dish.

CUCUMBER KIMCHI

1 pound (454 grams) small Korean, Persian or Kirby cucumbers

1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt

4 scallions or spring onions, chopped into 2- to 3-inch pieces (5- to 7 ½-centimeters)

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 small clove garlic

1-inch (2½-centimetre) piece ginger

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), or to taste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salted shrimp (saewoo jut)

15 chives, cut into 2-inch (5-centimetre) pieces

Using a small knife, cut each cucumber crosswise into 2-inch (5-centimetre) pieces. Stand the pieces on their cut sides. Cut each piece two-thirds of the way down into quarters lengthwise, keeping them attached at the bottom. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt, making sure to stuff inside the cuts of the cucumbers. Place in a single layer on their cuts sides in a glass or other nonreactive dish, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to soften. Meanwhile, prepare the chili paste mix.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients except for the chives.  Pulse until a coarse paste forms.  Stir in the chives. Rinse the salted cucumbers very well under cold water, making sure to evacuate the crevices, and shake dry.  Spread open the cucumbers and using plastic gloves, stuff the chili mix into and around each piece generously.  Place into a container, packed somewhat tightly, and press in any remaining chili paste and liquid.  Seal tightly. Allow the cucumbers to ferment at room temperature for 24 hours.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: 4 servings