Quick Korean-Style Cucumber Pickle

Quick Korean-Style Cucumber Pickle

Years ago, when my husband and I were dating, we used to enjoy going out for Korean barbecue on Friday nights.  One of my favorite things about these outings was the array of colorful sweet, sour, spicy pickles that accompanied our meal.  There would inevitably be daikon, carrot, cucumber, and kimchi on the table.  Other pickles varied according to the seasons.

I still love the way Korean pickles compliment grilled meats.  The crisp, mildly sweet, tangy pickles contrast beautifully with smoky  grilled meats.

The Recipe

At that time, Korean foods were a lot less common than they are now, and the internet was still in its early days.  So, I had no idea how to prepare these treats at home.  Thankfully, today, with the wide range of resources available online, authentic Korean recipes are more accessible than ever.

Many Korean pickles take time and patience, because they are naturally fermented.  I love fermented pickles for their complexity and subtlety.  However, being busy, I don’t always think far enough ahead to have fermented treats (which never last long) on hand when I want them.

So, I was delighted to discover that not all Korean pickles are fermented. There are also a few quick pickles.  These cucumbers, using every day pantry ingredients, come together in just over 30 minutes.

The pickles in this recipe were inspired by a recipe I found on My Korean Kitchen, one of my favorite Korean food blogs.  They are delicious on their own, but spectacular when served with grilled meats, steamed rice, and butter lettuce to wrap it all up in.

I hope your family enjoys these pickles as much as mine does.  Bon appétit!


Quick Korean-Style Cucumber Pickle

Spicy Korean Cucumber Quick Pickle
Jeanette Marie
Rate this recipe
2 ratings
Save Recipe Save to BigOven
Prep Time:  30 minutes - Cook Time:  5 minutes Servings:  6

This delicious pickle is the ideal companion to grilled meats.

  • 400 g mediterranean cucumbers, sliced in 1/3 cm discs
  • 2 tablespoons coarse, natural sea salt
  • 2 shallots, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

  1. Toss the cucumber disks with the sea salt. Leave to drain in a colander set over a bowl for about 30 minutes.
  2. Put the sesame seeds in a small, dry skillet set over medium-low heat. Shake the pan continuously until the seeds are golden and lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Toss shallots, chilli flakes, vinegar, sugar and garlic in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
  4. Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly to remove excess salt. Leave to drain for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cucumbers and the toasted sesame seeds to the bowl with the shallot mixture. Toss to combine.
  6. Chill briefly and serve with grilled meat of your choice.

If shallots are out of season, this pickle is also nice with spring onions. I would use four onions, whites and greens. If you do not have rice wine vinegar on hand, white vinegar could be used in its place.

Nutrition label for Quick Korean-Style Cucumber Pickle

5 thoughts on “Quick Korean-Style Cucumber Pickle”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.