The first time my mother-in-law served cucumbers in vinegar and water, she was a little taken aback when I asked for the recipe. “Um,” she said, “it’s just water, vinegar, cucumbers and little salt and pepper.” But I had never had cucumbers like that before and I was in LOVE! So simple, yet so delicious. You see, my Mom didn’t like cucumbers so we never ate them when I was growing up.
This Quick Cucumber Kimchi is one of my favorite vegetable side dishes! It goes great with just about any dinner. It’s a little spicier than simple cucumbers in vinegar and water, healthy and very Weight Watchers friendly at 1 WW point on the blue plan, vegan and gluten-free!
It really makes total sense that we didn’t eat the things my Mom didn’t like; she was the cook, after all. And if you’re doing all the cooking, you shouldn’t be expected to cook things you hate to eat. The same way you won’t find lamb being cooked in this house (at least not by me). My kids probably wouldn’t have tried it until adulthood had we not been served it at a friend’s house. To this day, my Mom still tells me she’ll try my recipes that contain cucumbers, MINUS the cucumber. I guess she won’t be trying this recipe!
When I’m in a hurry and I need a vegetable, cucumbers in vinegar and water is my go-to. This Kimchi Pickle, as it’s also known, is simply a spicier and a bit ‘fancier’ version of that. But it’s worth the extra few minutes, especially if you want to spice things up a bit! I found this recipe in a magazine many years ago and then, sadly, lost it for many years. So when I was finally reunited with it again, I wanted to share it with you! I made a few changes to make it even better, of course. 🙂
Cucumber Kimchi Recipe
The great thing about this cucumber kimchi recipe is it’s made with ingredients you already have in your pantry like vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper, cayenne, sesame seeds and olive oil. You don’t need any special ingredients (like fish sauce,) like some kimchi recipes call for. I guess this would be considered the ‘North Americanized’ version of Korean cucumber kimchi.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that usually includes some combination of vegetables, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, salt, and often fish sauce. The mix is pickled and fermented, which was originally a way to preserve the vegetables for the winter months. Cabbage is the most common vegetable used to make kimchi but cucumbers and radishes are also frequently used. There are many versions of kimchi, that vary depending on the region and season in which they are produced. You can read more about kimchi HERE.
Korean Cucumber Kimchi
While slowly fermented cabbage is most closely associated with kimchi, there are many other versions, including cucumber kimchi. And this easy and Quick Cucumber Kimchi is one version of Korean Cucumber Kimchi. So, if you’re looking for a healthy WW friendly side dish, then give this a try!
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Quick Cucumber Kimchi
- 2 cups sliced cucumbers (about 1 large English cucumber)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- In bowl, toss cucumber with salt and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain.
- Add vinegar, sugar, sesame seeds, olive oil, garlic, hot red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.