Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Quick Cucumber Kimchi

10 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2010

While slowly fermented cabbage and pungent garlic are the ingredients most people associate with kimchi, there are dozens and dozens of other versions of Korea's national dish, featuring all manner of vegetables, such as these quickly pickled cucumbers with just a trace of garlic.

Ingredients 6 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 pickling cucumbers or other small cucumbers (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1¼-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chile powder (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce (see Note)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and then crosswise into ⅛-inch-thick half moons. Place in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with salt. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine garlic, scallions, ginger, vinegar, chile powder, sugar and fish sauce in a medium nonreactive bowl (see Tip).
  3. Drain the cucumbers (discard the liquid). Stir the cucumbers into the vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before serving.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Notes: Korean chile powder (gochugaru, gochugalu or Korean “crushed red pepper”) is made from thin red peppers that are sun-dried on woven mats or strung together and hung from the eaves of thatch-roofed houses throughout the countryside. Find it in Korean or Asian markets or online from koamart.com. Store, airtight, in the refrigerator or freezer indefinitely.
  • Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian-food section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our recipe testing and nutritional analyses.
  • Tip: A nonreactive bowl or pan—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as vinegar, to prevent the food from reacting with it.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ¼ cup
  • Per serving: 8 calories; 0 g fat(0 g sat); 0 g fiber; 2 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 3 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 96 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 7 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 64 mg sodium; 61 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 0
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable

Reviews 10

November 11, 2018
profile image
By: jKim281
"Fish Sauce" from different countries taste different. Using Thai Fish sauce makes this dish taste off... A LOT. If you can't get Korean fish sauce, then I would leave it out or not bother making this dish. If you like Chinese food made by Mexicans or Mexican food made by Chinese I guess it's okay.
February 03, 2018
profile image
By: Gustave
I and my cohorts at work eat a ton of kimchi (quick and easy) so I made a 10X batch. I used 2X the spice, 1.5X the fresh ginger, and added freshly peeled daikon radish cut into thin matchsticks for some further bite as cucumber kimchi is normally quite mild...so in a sense I used the cocktail I used for when I am making cabbage kimchi. Additionally I peeled (understanding that takes away some of the nutrients) and cut the cucumber into thicker smaller uniform pieces. As a kimchi aficionado who makes it often I and the guys really enjoyed this recipe, just needed to add a little more punch.
February 27, 2017
profile image
By: Layne Dawn Washington
I have not yet made this but could I add tomatoes to this?
July 11, 2016
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Looks great but nutritional values must be incorrect. I will definitely try this recipe because it looks so good. I'm a big fan of cucumbers ! But how could this 1/4 serving of mainly cucumbers have 10 grams of protein and 0 fiber? Somebody also posted about the carb counts. C'mon Eating Well ... Some of us count on the nutritional values posted by you for health reasons . I'm going to have to second guess each time i see a recipe i would like to try.
June 07, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Delicious, but nutritional info is messed up. this is a great recipe but there is literally no way the nutritional information adds up. 7 carbs per serving? Not likely. That amount of cucumbers is about 10 carbs, the 2 tsp of sugar is about 8 carbs, then add a couple for incidentals like garlic and the ginger. 3 carbs. That makes a total of 21 carbs for the WHOLE DISH. divided 6 ways would be 3.5 carbs per serving. What the hell? Pros: The best snack ever. Cons: NONE.
May 12, 2011
profile image
By: Catherine Carr Lewis
wonderful! So glad to find this recipe. It takes me back to my days in Korea. So easy to prepare...a wonderful, healthy dish by itself or paired with most any grilled meat. Thanks for sharing! (PS I used Korean Garlic Chili Paste as that's what I have on hand) Pros: Easy, Healthy, Delicious!
August 02, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
This dish was quick, easy and wonderful!
July 30, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Very good recipe. Nice side dish with fish & rice. Will definitely go back to this recipe again and again.
July 09, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Excellent, not-to-spicy, kimchi. Quick to make. We didn't have Korean chile powder and substituted our home made hot chile sauce.
More Reviews