Cucumber Kimchi

Almost Instant Cucumber Kimchi, vegan with distinct Korean Kimchi flavor. You will be surprised how easy it is to make Cucumber Kimchi at home. It is a perfect summer side dish. Serve chilled!

Cucumber Kimchi
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

Sharing today an easy recipe for Cucumber Kimchi. Spicy vegan Kimchi with amazing Korean chili, gochugaru, flavor. You will be surprised how easy it is to make Cucumber Kimchi at home. 

It is quick Cucumber Kimchi recipe which means there is no fermentation time. I use a simple Korean seasoning that make quick kimchi flavorful like fermented. 

I highly recommend trying this recipe specially if you like kimchi and always keep a jar of kimchi in refrigerator like I do.

With this recipe I’m introducing two Korean chili condiments which are essentials flavors in kimchi. (read on to know more)

Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Cucumber Kimchi

Cucumber Kimchi is a Korean dish of seasoned cucumber flavored with Korean chili flakes, sesame oil, garlic, and onion. It is called Oi Muchim Or Oi Kimchi. "Oi" means cucumber and "Muchim" means seasoned. 

Traditionally Kimchi is fermented in salt and spices. Fermentation gives cucumber signature acidic flavor which is the source of tang in Kimchi.

I'm sharing a quick Cucumber Kimchi recipe today. It is not fermented. But has similar fermented Kimchi flavor. To add the fermented chili flavor in Cucumber Kimchi, I use a fermented Korean chili paste called Gochujang. You will be surprised how a little bit Gochujang makes all the difference to make homemade Cucumber Kimchi extra delicious. 

When I started making Cucumber Kimchi at home, I tried at-least 5 batches of Cucumber Kimchi before my husband (not Korean but a Kimchi Enthusiast) finally approved my recipe. :) So, I can assure you that this is the best homemade cucumber kimchi recipe. A must try!

Spicy Cucumber Kimchi Recipe

What Do You Need to Make Cucumber Kimchi?

For homemade Cucumber Kimchi you will need two special Korean ingredients i.e. Gochugaru and Gochujang.

Gochugaru is Korean Chili Flakes that are bright roasted chili flakes with distinct fruity flavor. Gochugaru is mild to medium spicy and vegan. You can use this like smoked sweet paprika to flavor stews or soups, or sprinkle on pasta, pizza, or salad for lite fruity heat.

Gochujang is spicy and fermented Korean Chili Paste. I use Gochujang chili paste to give Kimchi the delicious fermented flavor without waiting for fermentation.

Gochujang a delicious condiment. Think about it like a spicy ketchup. It makes a great tasty addition to marinades. The brand I used is vegan which gives me option to make vegan Cucumber Kimchi. I highly recommend trying it once.

Here is a complete list of ingredients to make Cucumber Kimchi:

Ingredients for Cucumber Kimchi

  1. Cucumber
  2. Onion
  3. Garlic
  4. Gochugaru, chili flakes
  5. Gochujang, chili paste (or use sambal chili paste for heat. If you prefer vegan. Make sure to look for vegan chili paste.)
  6. Sesame Oil (preferably toasted sesame oil)
  7. Soy Sauce
  8. Sugar

How To make Cucumber Kimchi?

Making Cucumber Kimchi is very easy. Once you have all the ingredients, it takes couple of minutes to assemble.

When making Cucumber Kimchi to serve right away, I slice cucumbers and onions, add to a bowl with all remaining ingredients i.e. chili flakes, sesame oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, chili paste and sugar. Mix and chill for 20 minutes. Serve.

That's it. Cucumber Kimchi is that quick and easy to make!

Tip: Fresh made Cucumber Kimchi is like a spicy crunchy Cucumber Salad. Serve as a side with BBQ!

Making Cucumber Kimchi

Oi Cucumber Kimchi

Note: It is important to let kimchi sit for 20-30 minutes before serving. This gives ingredients such as garlic and onion to release their juices and add more flavor to the kimchi.

Recipe for easy and quick Cucumber Kimchi

Make Ahead Kimchi:

Cucumber is 50% water. This water drains out when cut cucumber comes in contact with salt or sugar. So to keep Cucumber Kimchi longer, it is very important to salt-cure the cucumber. That is make cucumber sweat water, then make kimchi. This does not remove all water of cucumber but Kimchi will be less watery when sitting for few days in refrigerator.

To make ahead Kimchi, spice and sprinkle 1/2 tbsp salt on slices of cucumber. Cover both sides. Set aside to sweat for at-least 20 minutes. After 20 minutes transfer to a colander, rinse in the water, shake off the access water. Pat dry as much as possible using clean kitchen towel. Next, continue with making Kimchi.

Quick Spicy Cucumber Kimchi

How To Serve Cucumber Kimchi?

Serve Kimchi on the side of grilled meat or with your favorite rice bowl. I also love Cucumber Kimchi sandwiched in a burger or a hearty sandwich. It makes a great fresh spicy topping for baked out-of-the-oven pizza. (yum!)

Friends, try this different way to eat cucumber this summer. This Cucumber Kimchi is the perfect summer dish when served chilled right from the refrigerator.

On your next grocery trip, buy cucumber, Gochujang and Gochugaru to try this homemade Cucumber Kimchi! A jar of Gochugaru and Gochujang will make at-least 10-12 batches of Cucumber Kimchi. One jar = One Cucumber Season. A good cost-effective investment to try a spicy homemade condiment. Happy Kimchi eating. ;)

Pairing Ideas:

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Cucumber Kimchi

5 (9 reviews)
Cucumber Kimchi
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Asian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 2 Cups - Serves: 8
(Idle Wait Time: 20-30 mins)



  • 1. Prepare Ingredients for Cucumber Kimchi Slice cucumber into 1/4 inch thick round slices. Fine mince garlic cloves. Thin slice onion into half-moon slices. Set aside.
  • 2. Salt Cucumber (skip when serving right away) Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp salt on slices of cucumber. Cover both sides. Set aside to sweat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes transfer to a colander, rinse in the water, shake off the access water. Pat dry as much as possible using clean kitchen towel.
  • 3. Mix Cucumber Kimchi In a mixing bowl, add sliced cucumber, onion, garlic and all of the remaining kimchi ingredients - Korean chili flakes, chili paste, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar. Toss to coat cucumber in all ingredients. Mix well so the sugar is dissolved and all cucumber pieces get coat of spices on both sides. See Note 1, 2.
  • 4. Serve Kimchi Refrigerate or set aside for at-least 20 minutes for flavors to blend. Mix once in-between to fully blend the sugar. Always mix once before serving or scooping onto a serving platter. Serve with your favorite Rice Bowl or Grilled dinner. Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:
  1. Gojujang - Koran Chili Paste: Gojujang is a spicy fermented Korean chili paste (the brand I use is vegan). I use chili paste for heat and for fermented flavor like authentic Korean Kimchi. Since paste is spicy, use as per taste. I recommend about 1-2 tsp for a batch of Kimchi. Mix well. Adjust/add more only after tasting. If can't find Korean Chili Paste, use Sambal Chili Paste for heat (may not be vegan).
  2. Vegan Kimchi: This Kimchi recipe is vegan. But if you like Fish Sauce, I recommend replacing half of the soy sauce with 1/2 tsp of the Fish Sauce for flavor.
  3. For extra-crunchy Cucumber Kimchi, make 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate until ready to use. Wait of 20-30 minutes give time to ingredients to blend together which makes Kimchi very flavorful. Mix 1-2 times in-between for sugar and spices to meld well. 
  4. Cucumber Kimchi will keep good in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  5. To keep Kimchi longer, salt the cucumber: Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp salt on slices of cucumber. Cover both sides. Set aside to sweat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes transfer to a colander, rinse in the water, shake off the access water. Pat dry as much as possible using clean kitchen towel. Next, continue with Step 3.

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19 Responses

  1. Thank you, Savita, for your quick response. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
    Sure, anytime! I'm glad I could answer your question.
  2. I have not made it yet, but I wonder if I leave out the sugar, will it still be good?
    As per my experience, sugar balances the flavor of chili. I recommend, mix all ingredients except sugar, then taste and decide. I mean, skip sugar or mix sugar in as per taste/preference. (Note: when adding sugar later, I would toss well so it dissolves.)
  3. My family loved this recipe. So delicious and so easy to make!
  4. I love kimchi, so I know that this is going to be my new go-to recipe. Thank you so much for sharing, I am making this this weekend :)
  5. We love kimchi but I have never thought of making it myself, and your kimchi recipe with cucumber is something new to me. Luckily we have a market that has the seasoning ingredients.
    It is very easy to make and delicious. I hope you get the ingredients to try it!
  6. This recipe was wonderful. I love kimchi but I dont want to ferment it myself.
    Ditto! Specially I love cucumber kimchi without wait for fermentation.
  7. I love this cucumber kimchi for a quick snack or as a side dish. Its so easy to make and full of flavor.
  8. Not only was this quick and easy to make it was also excellent. I will be making this as a side dish often.
    Thanks for letting me know.
  9. I recently started liking kimchi so this recipe is definitely coming handy to me. I like the idea of cucumber kimchi and works excellent for my palate.
    Kimchi has the tendency to become a fav. quickly! I always have a jar of kimchi in refrigerator since we started eating.
  10. This was a really huge hit at my house! Thanks so much for the recipe!
  11. I have never seen anything like this before and being a huge cucumber fan I truly cant wait to give this a try!
    Let me know when you try it!