This one is a personal favorite of both me and my sister. Our grandmother makes it whenever we have cucumbers on hand. It's also another super easy recipe!
Preparing the Cucumber:
Step 1: In order to prep the cucumber for your delicious banchan, start by peeling strips of the skin off if you purchased an English cucumber. These cucumbers' skin can be a little tough otherwise. If you purchased pickling cucumbers, go ahead and skip this!
Step 2: Next, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and slice! Place in a bowl and toss with the salt and sugar. It should look like this:
Step 3: Let the cucumber sit for about 30 minutes. The salt draws out extra moisture, which cucumbers have a lot of! After 30 minutes, you can drain all of the liquid. [N.B.: In my radish kimchi recipe, you use some of the liquid. You can do that here, but the cucumbers will still have plenty of moisture.]
Seasoning the Dish!
Step 4: Seasoning the dish is actually quite simple. Place the other ingredients in with the cucumber, and combine! You should have a delicious banchan in no time.
Warning: So delicious it may not last longer than one meal.
Kimchi is the staple of korean side dishes and comes in many varieties. The most common in western culture is kimchi made with napa cabbage. This kimchi I've made today however, is made with korean radish, called Mu. If you can't find Mu in your grocery store, daikon radish will work as well. It is a deliciously crunchy kimchi to have with your rice and maybe some delicious korean meatballs! (Recipe to come soon ;) )
A note on the ingredients: To make a more authentic Korean radish, use fish sauce. Since I am a vegetarian and usually like staying away from fish sauce, I substitute in soy sauce.
Additionally, feel free to change the amount of any of these ingredients! In particular, you may want to adjust the amount of hot pepper flakes to your spice preference. This is just the ratio that I personally like. :)
Step 1: First things first: preparing the radish. To get our radish all ready for kimchi making, first I peel and rinse the radish. Then cut into 1/4 inch cubes.
Step 1.1: Place the radish in a bowl, toss with the salt and sugar. Let this sit for 30 minutes. Why? The salt will help pull out excess water from the radish. During this time I slice my green onions/mince my garlic. After 30 minutes, drain all but approximately 1 Tbs. of the liquid.
Step 2: Mix in remaining ingredients.
Step 3: Enjoy! Yup, it's that simple!
I placed most of my kimchi in a jar which I set out on the counter. Since I like my kimchi a little more fermented, I will let it ferment for a couple of days before putting it in the refrigerator. The rest I put in a container to put in the refrigerator as is, for fresher, crisper kimchi!