Quick Pickled Korean Cucumbers (Oi Jee)

For some reason, I really like pickled foods. Watching cooking shows like Chopped, the judges always remark that the food needs acid. Pickles are a great way to add acidity to a dish. Also they keep well in the refrigerator. I made these the other night to accompany some Beef Bulgogi, but these would work in a lot of ways. I can see putting some on a sandwich or in a salad. Our Chef son, James says pickling is new go-to menu item.

Quick Pickled Korean Cucumbers (Oi Jee)


4 small Korean or Kirby cucumbers, or 1 English cucumber
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 pinch gochagaru, or more if you like heat (Gochagaru is a Korean chili powder)


1. To make the dish, you’ll need to begin by cutting cucumbers into either uniform strips or round slices. You can use mandoline for thinner strips, if you’d like.

2. Next, you should sprinkle the cucumbers with sugar and salt and toss gently to combine. Add a pinch of gochagaru for color.

3. Once the cucumbers have been sprinkled, add vinegar. You need to stir it to make sure all of the cucumbers are coated.

4. Let the cucumbers sit for at least 20 minutes before serving them. If you’ve adjusted any of the ingredients, you may want to taste test one of the cucumbers yourself to make sure the flavor is exactly how you like it. If you’re cooking the dish for your family, have a spouse or child try one of the cucumbers and let you know what they think about the seasoning and adjust accordingly.

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