In a Pickle!

No, not Don Rickles’…

Get a handle on it!

There’s something about the kirby cucumber that brings a smile to my lips and dimples to my cheeks (if I had any) that a full-length cuke just can’t.  It must be its dollhouse size and essence of Spring, and the way it lends itself, quite wonderfully, to kimchification.

My mom kimchified her cukes in a plastic tub big enough to wash a pony in––a miniature one, but a pony nonetheless…

Oi sobagi (오이소박이)––stuffed cucumber, if you will––is a kimchi as much as cabbage kimchi is kimchi.  The idea is the same, but the process can feel faster.  Just prepare a daikon-dried hot pepper filling and stuff it:

Just stuff it!

After you’ve washed your kirbies, rubbed them down with coarse salt (kosher is good), let rest for 15 minutes. When it is time for you to quarter the kirbies, make sure not to cut all the way through, you’ll want to keep them intact.

This stuffing is no bake…

Get your stuffing ready by thinly slicing your daikon.  You all know what a daikon is, right?

Keep your fingers out-of-the-way!

Next comes the ginger, garlic, salt and chili pepper powder or flakes:

Ginger is grate!

Y’all, there’s chopped scallions that would go in too, but I didn’t have any…

I have a pressing need for garlic!

and was too lazy to go to the corner store…

Almost as good as Fairy Dust!

My mom used Korean red pepper powder because that is what is traditionally used and because she was better prepared with her ingredients than I ever am.  It is because I hate schlepping to Mid-town Manhattan to go to the one Korean Supermarket closest to me that I have learned to be flexible––I use the Mexican dried chili peppers that are abundant in my local supermarkets and bodegas.

Slippery when wet

In my previous posts on kimchi and chili paste, I extolled the joys of Chile de arbol, Japones, Guajillos––the list goes on––as good substitutes and I reiterate that here.  But, by all means, if you have Korean pepper powder, via con Kimchi with that.  One of these days, I may drag myself to Midtown…or not!

Every which way but…

Then find a big glass jar or whatever have you, layer in your cukes, and pour half a cup of boiling water over it all.  My aunt suggests letting your cukes sit at room temperature for a day before putting them in the fridge to ferment for a week.

Exact measurements you ask?   Email me and I’ll send them to you.


6 thoughts on “In a Pickle!

  1. I love these! I tried to make them once and it went horribly wrong. I think enough time has passed, plus the inspiration from this post makes me want to try again!

  2. Pingback: Cuke U! | DIY Korean Food

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