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This delicious vegetable kimchee goes well with any Korean meal and is a nice change of pace from cabbage kimchee.The stuffed cucumbers look impressive,and the recipe may be a little time consuming,but the hardest part is really just waiting for the kimchee to be ready.Making kimchee is traditionally a fall chore and the temperature is perfect for fermenting kimchee(it tastes best when it ferments slowly).If you are making kimchee in warm weather it will ferment rapidly and you will need to check twice a day if your house is very hot as it could ferment significately over the course of just a few hours.Please use a clean spoon every time you check it -you don't want to introduce any unwanted bacteria,as lacto-fermenting vegetables is a delicate balance between bacterias and you don't want to overwhelm the good beneficial ones with a strain of something that could make your kimchee go bad!The process is really quite simple though,and if everything is kept clean it's quite safe.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs small pickling cucumbers (about 16)
- 5 cups filtered water (do not use chlorinated tap water)
- 3 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 3⁄4 lb daikon radish, peeled
- 1 inch section fresh gingerroot, peeled
- 8 green onions
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or Korean hot pepper powder-koch'u karu)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (do not used iodized salt)
- Wash cucumbers very thoroughly,scrubbing with a vegetable brush ,Dry with a paper towel.
- Cut slices diagonally into the cucumbers at 1/2 inch intervals,DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.Only cut about 3/4 of the way through the cucumber leaving the slices attached at the bottom by a section of cucumber.
- Make a brine by dissolving the 3 tablespoons of salt in 5 cups of water.
- Place the cucumbers in a clean bowl and cover with the brine.Cover with a plate to keep the cucumbers completely submerged.Leave at room temperature for 3-4 hours.You may cover the bowl loosely with a clean cloth if you are worried about bugs or debris ,but do not cover the bowl tightly,.
- prepare the stuffing:peel the daikon,slice it as finely as possible,and julienne into thin ribbons;peel the ginger and shred finely;peel,crush and mince garlic;slice green onions as thinly as possible including both white and green parts.Mix with the pepper powder and salt.
- Remove cucumbers from the brine.save brine in a separate sterile jar for now.
- Gently stuff as much of the mixture as possible in between the cucumber slices .The cucumber slices will be fanned out apart by all the stuffing-just don't let the slices break.
- Place the cucumbers back in the same bowl and cover with any remaining stuffing.cover loosely with a cloth and set aside for 8 more hours,or overnight.
- Pack the cucumbers tightly into a sterile 1 1/2 quart jar.Pour any of the accumulated juices from the bowl over the cucumbers;top with as much of the reserved brine as necessary to cover.Cover loosely'.
- Set aside to ferment at room temperature for 3-6 days.Taste every day from the 3rd day on and when the pickle is soured to your liking it is ready.
- Store in the refrigerator to stop the pickle from fermenting any longer.