Monday, August 16, 2010

Cucumber kimchi

This year we planted four english cucumber plants in the garden. This is probably too many for just two people but I'd never been successful with growing cucumbers before so wanted a backup in case any of them didn't take. Well I needn't have worried. They are growing like crazy! They even loved growing vertically which is perfect for our small urban space. Next year I'm going to put them up against one of the fences so they have lots of room to grow up.

Anyway, all that to say we have a bit of a surplus of cucumbers here at the efficiency urban homestead. Coincidentally, I've been going to a Korean restaurant a lot lately and recently got to try cucumber kimchi for the first time. Wow. It's delicious. So I decided to try making it myself.

I found this recipe which has a really easy to follow set of steps and helpful pictures. But it had some ingredients which I though were a bit strange for a fermented recipe (vinegar especially but also honey), so I checked with my wild fermentation book (which I don't use nearly enough). The kimchi recipe in there didn't use any honey or vinegar so I used the on-line recipe but just left those two ingredients out. Oh and I also left out the green onions because I didn't have any.

In hindsight I wish I'd drained the brine off the cucumbers, added the other ingredients and then put them in jars, and THEN topped the jars off with brine (as opposed to just adding all the ingredients to the cucumbers and brine). That way the spice would have been evenly distributed (the way I did it most of the spice ended up in the last jar). I decided to ferment the cucs for 5 days (2 days less than wild fermentation but 3 days more than the on-line recipe recommended).

Long story short they are really tasty.

I also love that they are good for me (hello probiotics!) and that fermenting food is a low energy way to preserve food.

For any Ottawa folks out there, I got my red pepper powder (kimchi spice) from Arum Korean Grocery.

1 comment:

S.H.J. said...

Lovely recipe. I have some cucumber plants sprouting right now (it's summer in Argentina), and have some clime-able space ready for them. And I love kimchi as well. Will definitely try your recipe. Thanks!!!!