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Asian Vegan Kitchen
by Hema Parekh
Cucumber Kimchi (Oi kimchi)
Traditionally, kimchi was made in large quantities to prepare for the long harsh winters when fresh vegetables were hard to come by. The ritual of kimchi making, called kimjang, usually started at the beginning of winter and the kimchi would be left to ferment for two to three months. Small portions of the kimchi would then be taken out as needed. The kimchi would last until the spring time, when fresh vegetables were available once again. Cucumber kimchi, however, can be eaten on the same day as it is prepared.
Makes 4 Cups


• 8 cucumbers
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 4 scallions, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup (50g) white radish, finely chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper powder
• 1/2 tablespoon red pepper threads
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 3 teaspoons castor sugar

Cut the cucumbers into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) thick rounds. Score a deep cross on one side of each round, taking care not to slice through completely. Place the cucumber pieces in a bowl and rub with 1 tablespoon salt. Allow to stand for 45--50 minutes to soften. Rinse under running water and drain.

2. In a deep bowl, combine the cucumber with the scallions, radish, garlic, and ginger.

3. Add the red pepper powder, red pepper threads, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar and mix thoroughly. Allow to stand for 2--3 hours at room temperature before serving. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Keeps for several weeks.

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