I really like spicy food and cucumbers. So one of my favorite things is the little side dish at Korean restaurants which has the flavor of kimchi but the vegetable is cucumbers. I’ve tried several spicy asian cucumber salad recipes in an attempt to find something as good as this. While they all are tasty they just aren’t quite the same. So after some further googling I decided maybe a recipe that was supposed to be specifically Korean would do the trick. I ended up using a recipe from Eating Well. There are some significant differences between it and the recipes I’ve made before. First, the spicy is Korean chili powder (gochugaru, gochugalu or Korean “crushed red pepper”) not chili garlic sauce, which most my recipes call for. Second, there is no sesame oil in the recipe. Third, the recipe uses ginger. Lastly, the cucumbers are cut in half and the individual slices thicker than my other recipes. I, unfortunately, didn’t have Korean chili powder on hand. I did have a Korean chili paste though. So I decided I’d try using that for the spice. The final product was HELA spicy. Too much paste! Otherwise though the flavors were spot on. My spouse thought they were too gingery but I think it was because I didn’t get the ginger diced/pulverized finely enough. Next time I’ll use ginger puree from a jar or tube. The recipe recommends marinating 12-24 hours and says these can keep for 10 days in the fridge. I marinated mine 36 hours and the vinegar was spot on.
Luckily, I have a TON more cucumbers from my CSA box and Amazon has the right kind of Korean chili powder. So I have a chance to make another attempt later in the week when my Prime shipment shows up.