How to make fermented Cucumber Kimchi Pickles in 3-5 days with 20 minutes of hands-on time! Easy to make and full of healthy, gut-supporting probiotics.
It is through the accrual of small moments, if we have the willingness to pay attention, that we find our day-to-day life is our most important teacher. Adyashanti
Here’s a recipe for all the fermenters out there- Cucumber Kimchi Pickles! They are basically half-sour, slightly- fermented cucumbers -like pickles- but with the addition of Korean flavors like chilies, chilies, garlic, and either fish sauce or miso paste (for a vegan version).
What I love about this recipe is how easy it is to make, before letting mother nature do its job. In the end, you’ll have flavorful Korean- inspired pickles that are full of healthy, living probiotics that you can add to meals you are already serving!
Cucumber Kimchi Pickles! | 45-second Video
In this recipe, I use Korean Chili Flakes called “Gochugaru” or the Korean Chili Paste “Gochujang“. The recipe is flexible-feel free to use fresh chilies in the paste, crushed dried Arbol chilies or even just garlic chili paste.
You can find Gochugaru at most Asian Markets or order online. You can also add other veggies to the mix like matchstick daikon radish or carrots. Fish sauce adds depth but you can leave this out or use soy sauce, or vegan fish sauce.
So, in a nutshell, you’ll make a flavorful paste with garlic, ginger, shallot, and chilies of your choice.
Mix the paste with the salted cucumbers.
Pack into jars with a little headroom.
Cover with brine and water.
Let this sit in a cool spot for 3-5 days, until you start to see bubbles when you tap the side of the jar.
Then store in the fridge. Keep in mind, these are really briny- more like pickles and less like “Kimchi.”
This will continue to ferment slowly in the fridge, getting even more flavorful.
Serve Cucumber Kimchi as a tasty side with:
- Seoul Bowls
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Furikake Salmon Bowls
- Black Pepper Tofu
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Szechuan Chicken and Brussel Sprouts
- Miso Tofu Bowl
OK, give these Cucumber Kimchi Pickles a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Have a great weekend,
How to make fermented Cucumber Kimchi Pickles in 3-5 days with 20 minutes of hands-on time! Easy to make and full of healthy, immune-supporting probiotics. Note: If you are looking for “Cucumber Kimchi“, this may not be the recipe for you. This is liquidy and briny, more like pickles, less like Kimchi. 🙂
- 2 pounds cucumbers, sliced 1/2-inch thick (Turkish or English) see notes
- 3 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 9 cups water to cover (or see notes for ratio, if you need more)
- 1–4 tablespoons dried chiles (Korean Chili Flakes called “Gochugaru” or Korean Chili Paste “Gochujang“ or dried Arbol chilies, fresh chilies, or even Garlic Chili Paste)
- 6–10 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon miso, fish sauce, or soy sauce
- 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion
- 1–2 teaspoon sugar or honey
optional additions: sliced carrots, radishes, sliced onion, sliced scallions, sesame seeds
PROCESS CUCS: Slice 2 pounds cucumbers (Pickling cucumbers, Turkish or English) into 1/2 inch thick rounds and place in a large bowl. Toss with the sea salt. Cover with the water, and place a bowl over top (or weight) and let sit 4-6 hours, submerged on the counter.
TOSS: Drain the cucumbers, SAVING the brine. Toss the cucumbers with the Kimchi Paste. Add scallions or any other optional additions.
PACK: Pack the cucumbers in 2 large clean jars or a crock with at least an inch of headroom. Pour the saved brine over top, submerging the cucumbers. Weigh down the cucumbers, using a fermentation weight, or a small ziplock bag filled with a little water, or even a cabbage leaf.
FERMENT: Place a lid, loosely over top, and put jars on top of a sheet pan, or in a big bowl to catch any escaping juices. Place in a coolish place (65-70F) for 3-5 days, or until you see some bubbling when you tap the side of the jar.
REFRIGERATE: I prefer a light, short fermentation, for a more crisp and crunchy pickle so at this point I’ll place them in the fridge. Fermentation will continue in the fridge but at a much slower rate. Feel free to continue fermenting, to any point, up to 2 weeks before refrigerating, which will render them tangier and softer.
MAINTAIN: Cucumbers will keep for months in the fridge as long as they are covered in brine. If you like a “fizzy” brine, tighten the lid, burping the jar every week or so. If you don’t want to think about it, give the lid one loose twist, so it’s on there, but gases can escape.
CHILIES: Try dried Korean Chili Flakes called “Gochugaru” or Korean Chili Paste “Gochujang“. The recipe is flexible-feel free to use fresh chilies in the paste, crushed dried Arbol chilies or even just garlic chili paste. Feel free to add whole dry Arbol chilies to the jars for presentation.
Keywords: cucumber kimchi, fermented cucumbers, kimchi cucumber pickles, cucumber kimchi pickles