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Basic Oi (Cucumber) Kimchi

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Basic Oi (Cucumber) Kimchi
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BASIC OI (CUCUMBER) KIMCHI
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Oi (cucumber) kimchi is a delicious, refreshing variation on the
traditional Korean kimchi recipe.
 
This particular recipe is a modified version of the recipe posted by Dr.
Ben Kim, at http://www.drbenkim.com/how-to-make-cucumber-kim-chi.htm.
 
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Preparation time:
 
active: 30 minutes
soak: 8+ hours
sit: 24-48 hours
 
Yields:
 
1.5 pints
 
Ingredients:
 
1 lb. pickling (or "seedless") cucumbers
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbl. red pepper powder ("kochu-garu")
1 tsp. minced garlic (~1 clove)
1 tsp. minced ginger
2 green onions (chopped coarsely)
1/4 yellow onion (small)
1 tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
 
Phase 1:
 
Clean the cucumbers, but do not peel. Cut off and discard about 1/2 inch
off each end. Chop the cucumbers into bite-sized pieces and put them in a
large bowl. Add the salt and toss until it is well distributed.
 
Cover the cucumbers and them them sit at room temperature in a dark area
for at least eight hours (or even overnight). (This helps pull the moisture
out of the cucumbers, forming the base for the kimchi brine.)
 
Phase 2:
 
Combine the red-pepper powder with 2 tbl water to create a thick paste.
Be careful not to get it on your hands; the red-peppers are very spicy
and can burn your hands. Add the paste to the cucumbers.
 
Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, green onions, sugar, and vinegar.
 
Cut up the onion however you like; I prefer cutting it into long, thin
strips. Then add the onion to the cabbage.
 
Toss everything thoroughly, again being careful not to get the
red-pepper mixture on your skin. Stir until everything is well mixed.
 
Phase 3:
 
Transfer this "pre-kimchi mass" to a quart jar (or two pint jars).
Transfer any remaining liquid to the jar(s) as well; this will help
form the kimchi brine. Make sure the lids form a tight seal.
 
Let the jar(s) sit out at room temperature for at least 24 hours (and
possibly 48 hours or longer), after which it is ready to eat, or
refrigerate.
It will supposedly keep for up to a month in your fridge, but mine
is always long-gone within a week!
 
Notes:
 
"Red-pepper powder" (called "kochu-garu" in Korean) is actually the same
as most Cayenne pepper, although "Cayenne pepper" is a name that can be
given to any of several different hot peppers. If possible, look in an
asian store for "red-pepper powder"; that way it'll be most authentic.
 
Do not use garden-variety cucumbers to make the kimchi--they become soggy
and mushy, and the rinds are tough and hard to eat. You really must use
pickling cucumbers (or any other crisp cucumber with very few seeds).
Look for cucumbers with lighter skins, rather than darker skins, as this
is an indicator of how many seeds the cucumber has.
 
You really must cut off and discard 1/2 inch from the end of each
cucumber; if you don't, you risk your kimchi being bitter (from chemicals
found in the flower and stalk).
 
Lastly, don't try to use a non-white vinegar with this recipe. The
strong flavor of such vinegars do not generally mesh well with the
kimchi.

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