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Skimkim Yummies: Cucumber Kimchi Salsa

It’s that time of the year again. It’s HOT here in NYC and we Koreans (and half Koreans) find relief in Oi Kimchi, or cucumber. When the temperature starts rising, Koreans get to fermenting cucumbers. I’m telling you, it’s like our gazpacho, except spicier. For those of you who want to partake in the beauty of Kimchi, I have the perfect recipe for you–Cucumber Kimchi Salsa. It’s a toned down version of my Oi Skimchee and can be packed up for any BBQ to throw on a piece of fish, chicken, steak, whatever. Put a bowl of chips down and this stuff will disappear. Promise. If there are any leftovers, throw it in a salad or on a turkey sandwich. You’ll be hooked.

Cucumber Kimchi Salsa

  • 4 Hothouse cucumber (also called English or seedless)
  • 4 ears of fresh corn
  • 3 carrots, peeled, & shredded in food processor (you can dice if you’d like)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small ginger root, peeled
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of coarse Korean Red Pepper (gochugaru, find it at a korean market)
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 c sliced scallion
  • kosher salt

I recommend the Hothouse cukes only bc you don’t have to seed them. With regular cukes, by the time you scrape all the seeds out, you have half the veggies you anticipated. Keep the skins on. This gives the salsa more color, flavor, and strength (you don’t want wilty veggies). Chop the cucumber in a medium to small dice. Sprinkle kosher salt on your chopped cucumbers and set aside. Shuck & clean the ears of corn thoroughly. Slice the kernels off carefully. Check out the video below for an easy method. Salt the corn and set aside. Peel the carrots and run through a food processor to shred them (don’t forget to use the right blade!). Salt and set aside. Once you have prepped all your veggies, let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour. This process releases excess water so your salsa doesn’t get soupy and gross.

Chop the peeled ginger into small chunks and throw it and the garlic cloves into the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

Rinse your salted veggies off and pat dry. Put in a large bowl. Add garlic ginger mix, gochugaru, cilantro, and scallions. Season with salt. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. Let the flavors come together.

Note: Gochugaru is a very specific type of red pepper flake. It is NOT the same thing as crushed red pepper that you can buy at your local grocery store. If you want this to be more authentic, make the effort to go get this stuff (click here to order online at HMart, my homies). It really is SO different. Way more flavor. If you can’t make it happen, use half cayenne and half crushed red pepper. Do not skip the salting part of this recipe. It is really important. Not only does it pull water out of the veggies, it also gives them flavor. Here’s a photo of the korean red pepper flakes.

And, here is the video of how to safely and effectively cut corn. Ingenious, isn’t it?

Finally, if you are in NYC tonight, Thursday, I’m djing tonight at “Reality Bites“, an all 90’s party, downtown. It is gonna be kinda sorta crucial, especially to all my 30 something’s (muah!). I will definitely be doing an R&B set, complete with Aaliyah, Dru Hill, Mary J, etc…Sway, 305 Spring St, btw Hudson & Greenwich.

Also, this coming Saturday at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, we are doing a collaboration with Grady’s Farm. Deviled Eggs EVERYWHERE. Lemon Caper, Crab Ceviche, and Kimchi. Come to N7th & Kent from 9am-5pm. See you there, Lovelies.

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