Let’s face the facts: in a few months (maybe even weeks) the plethora of fresh summer vegetables and fruit found in overflowing quantities at our local farmer’s markets will soon be substituted for out of season, bland, and expensive supermarket produce.
Our ancestral relatives knew a thing or two about preserving nature’s bounty (pre-refridgeration!) by one of two popular methods: salting, and pickling. So, now is the time to break out your mason jar set and get to it before you slice into a subpar cucumber come November.
The heavy Korean influence (my, do I love that country!) adds a fiery kick to the pickles that also helps preserve them for the long haul, and, according Angie’s mom, are perfect served over rice.
Fresh Cucumber Kim Chi (aka Kim Chi Pickles!)
Persian cucumbers, 8
Chives, 2 handfuls
Ingredients for the dressing:
Fish sauce, 2 tbsp. (use miso paste to make it vegan)
Korean ground red pepper, 2 tbsp.
Garlic, 2 tsp.
Ginger, 1 tsp. (optional)
1/4 Onion or apple (your choice)
Sugar, 1 tsp.
Fine grater or food processor
Servings: 4 (enough for approximately 4 medium sized jars)
Cut and Prepare cucumber and chives:
1. Bathe and scrub cucumbers in a bath of kosher salt, lightly scrubbing the skin with your hands and salt water.
2. Cut Persian cucumbers in thirds widthwise, then in quarters lengthwise (length is about 2 inches). Put in medium/large size bowl and sprinkle kosher salt, layer by layer and stir. Let this sit for about 20 minutes, stir it up and let sit for 10 more minutes. The cucumbers should bend, but, not snap. Gently rinse cucumbers of excess salt.
3. Take two handfuls of chives and cut at approx 3 inch lengths.
1. Mince 2 TSP garlic and 1 TSP ginger
2. Finely grate ¼ of a whole onion (apple can be substituted).
3. In a mixing bowl, mix/stir together fish sauce, korean ground red pepper, garlic, ginger, and onion.
Once dressing is made, add the cucumber and chives and mix it all up with your hands. They are now ready to eat. Jar it, refrigerate and enjoy it days and weeks to come.