Cucumber Kimchi [Salad]

glass mason jar filled with cucumber kimchiI received this recipe from Anna at Seoul Food back when they were still running a food truck. It’s very delicious and I treat it like a refrigerator pickle. I’ve made it with both pickling cukes and English cukes. Whatever I had from the garden. I’ll give you the recipe as I received from her and add my notes to the end.

It depends on how much cucumber you have, but generally I use this recipe on my own.

1.Sea salt enough to salt cucumber

2. For about 2 hrs later( I wait longer because I make large volume), you can rinse them in a colander with cold water.
During waiting period, toss them a couple of time to salt them evenly.

3. After draining them in colander, prepare scallion chopped, pepper flake (if you cant find Korean pepper, use cayenne pepper too, a little bit of vinegar to taste, and a little bit of sugar too.

4. Put all ingredients in a big bowl, and toss them with your hand.

My notes:

1. For enough salt, I tend to use a similar ratio to what you’d find in canning books. It’s easy to be too heavy handed. My go-to recipe for Bread and Butter pickles uses 1/2 pickling salt to 10 cups of sliced cucumbers. I tend to use kosher salt since that’s what I have available in bulk most of the time. My B&B recipe also has you cover the salted cukes with water which is also a thing I do because when I haven’t, I ended up with cucumbers inedible due to saltiness.

2. I like to take samples out and test the saltiness after rinsing at different time points to make sure they’re not oversalted.

3. I got this rec for Korean pepper flake from another kimchi recipe and it’s great. Tae-kyung Korean Red Chili Pepper Flakes Powder. If you can’t find it, I’ve also successfully made this with sambal which seems to be a bit easier to find at grocery stores, at least around here. The vinegar and sugar is totally to taste. For my most recent batch with about 10 c of sliced cucumbers, I used one bunch of green onions/scallions, 1/2 c white vinegar, 2 tbs sugar, and 1 tbs pepper flake powder (it’s got some kick and I’m from the Midwest.)

4. After tossing, I put it in a glass jar in the fridge. Lasts for ages. 10 cups of sliced cucumbers makes about a half a gallon of kimchi. I have no idea if it’s a good idea to try to ferment this. I treat it like a quick pickle.

Adventures in Booze: So Here is a Thing That is Delicious

Here I am with another recipe that has half-assed measurements and doesn’t even come with pictures this time. But I’m drinking right now in the chill of my kitchen and had to share.

Hot Orange Chocolate

A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or probably like somewhere between a 1/4 and an 1/8th a cup). You can use whatever small chocolate pieces you have lying around. When I’m feeling really fancy, I’ll use the delicious dark chocolates they give you after meals at Cheesetique.
A similar amount of orange liquor, enough to cover the chocolate. You can use Cointreau if you like it sweet. I’ve been using Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao for orange without more sugar.
A pinch or so of ground cayenne pepper. Adjust to taste. Start small if you’re a spice wimp. It can add up fast.
1 cup (8 oz) of milk or milk substitute. I use unsweetened soy.

Place your chocolate, orange liquor, and pepper in a bowl or largeish coffee mug and microwave for 30 sec. Remove and whisk smooth. The chocolate shouldn’t need much heating. Slowly whisk in milk and then microwave in short burst until warm. You don’t want to get it too hot or you’ll get a nasty skin on it. Drink and be warm.

You can, of course, do this all on the stove which may be more time effective if you’re making a large batch. But for just one person, the microwave works great.

Orange and chocolate is a very common, tasty combination. Chili and chocolate is actually how it was originally enjoyed by its native discoverers and how you can find it in Mexican hot chocolate. All three together are pretty much my favorite thing ever for a chilly night. You can also throw some cinnamon in there for a feast for the senses. Everyone else is probably doing apple cider drinks right now (and I’ve got a few of them on tap) but today called for chocolate.