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.
- 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