Cucumber Kimchi

Kimchi literally just means some soured or fermented vegetables. So why are we limiting ourselves to just napa cabbage? Kimchi can be made with only carrots, or only radishes or in this case with cucumbers!

Here is a super simple recipe that one can make in a jiffy and if a vegan / vegetarian option is not desired, simply add some fish sauce and reduce the 2% salt to 1.8 % or so.

cucumbers salt spices and jar on table

Makes 1 Liter Jar


  • 1000 g small hard cucumbers 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 small red onions
  • ½ a thumb of ginger
  • 20 grams gochugaru (korean sweet chili flakes)
  • 20 grams sea salt 
  • Fish sauce (optional) 


  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Bowl
  • Scale (bonus)
  • 1 liter jar 
  • Plate or bowl for overflow
cucumber kimchi ingredients in bowl

What to do

  1. Slice up your cucs anyway you want to. Sticks, coins, julienned…and put them in a large mixing bowl
  2. Mince the garlic, onions and ginger. If you are lazy or want a fine mash, put them in a blender. Add these to the mixing bowl
  3. Add the gochugaru, salt and if desired, fish sauce. NOTE: if adding fish sauce – reduce the salt to 15-18 grams and add 1-2 TBSP of fish sauce.
  4. Massage salty-spice blend around cucumbers. Be slightly more gentle than you would be with cabbage which has tougher cell walls that need to be destroyed. With cucumbers we want them more or less intact for our finished product.
  5. Let the bowl of lightly massaged cucumbers sit for 20-30 mins. This allows the osmosis to happen and the salt pulls out the water and sugars from the cucumbers without much effort from us. 
  6. Stuff everything into a jar and make sure that the juices that have come out are used to cover the complete vegetable mass.
  7. If the jar is not completely full to the top, add some water to cover everything, or a small jar or kraut weight to push everything under the liquid brine. 
  8. Close the jar. If using a screw top jar or mason jar, make sure its not michelin man tight or this could cause pressure build up in the jar and thus explosions (link to youtube or carbonation article?).
  9. Place the jar on a plate or in a bowl at room temperature for 5-7 days. Juices will flow out. Disregard this water. 
  10. Don’t open the jar up for at least 5 days so that the lactic acid bacteria build up and protect the contents inside with their lovely souring abilities. 
  11. When the sourness and taste and to your liking (we even like up to 2 weeks outside the fridge), then put the jar in cold storage and enjoy alongside your meals or added to a bean salad etc.

Head back to our blog for more recipes & tips from the fermentation sphere!

cucumber kimchi in a bowl with chopsticks

6 thoughts on “Cucumber Kimchi”

    • definitely use that liquid – it is like gold! you can use it later as a marinade or drink it pure / in a bloody marry etc. 😉

  1. This sounds great! The only clarification needed is using distilled bottled water if (like me) your tap water is chlorinated. Never thought to use cukes in kimchi…🤔…hmmm ….what else can be Kinchi’d….?

    • hey Judi, everything can be kimchi’d! radishes, carrots, any veggies you can imagine – it basically means ‘soured / fermented veggies’ so the possibilities are endless.

      for the water – if its chlorinated you can use 1) bottled water 2) let the water sit for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate or 3) boil the water for 3 mins and allow to cool back down

    • veggies are almost always anaerobic which means definitely with an airtight jar or a jar with a lid where the juicing can leak out. a cloth will only promote unwanted kahm yeast


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