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Cucumber Kimchi and Radish Pickle

This version of kimchi is one of the most popular.  It is fresh and crunchy and makes for a yummy side dish for many a meal. 


  • 1 pound (454 grams) small Korean, Persian or Kirby cucumbers

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt

  • 4 scallions or spring onions, chopped into 2- to 3-inch pieces (5- to 7 ½-centimeters)

  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 small clove garlic

  • 1-inch (2½-centimetre) piece ginger

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon salted shrimp (saewoo jut)

  • 15 chives, cut into 2-inch (5-centimetre) pieces

  • Radish Pickle

  • 6 ounces (175 grams) white radish, mouli or daikon, julienned into long strips

  • 4½ teaspoons Korean apple vinegar or rice wine vinegar

  • 1½ tablespoon white granulated sugar

  • 1½ teaspoons Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), or to taste

  • 1 small clove garlic, grated

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt


  • 1.

    Using a small knife, cut each cucumber crosswise into 2-inch (5-centimetre) pieces. Stand the pieces on their cut sides. Cut each piece two-thirds of the way down into quarters lengthwise, keeping them attached at the bottom.

  • 2.

    Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt, making sure to stuff inside the cuts of the cucumbers. Place in a single layer on their cuts sides in a glass or other nonreactive dish, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to soften.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, prepare the chili paste mix. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients except for the chives. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Stir in the chives.

  • 4.

    Rinse the salted cucumbers very well under cold water, making sure to evacuate the crevices, and shake dry. 

  • 5.

    Spread open the cucumbers and using plastic gloves, stuff the chili mix into and around each piece generously. 

  • 6.

    Place into a container, packed somewhat tightly, and press in any remaining chili paste and liquid. Seal tightly.

  • 7.

    Allow the cucumbers to ferment at room temperature for 24 hours. 

  • 8.

    Refrigerate until ready to serve.  

  • Radish Pickle:

  • 1.

    In a medium sized bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together and stir to coat the radish well.  Cover and chill for 1 hour before serving.  


Copyright, 2014, Judy Joo, All rights reserved

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