Cucumber and kimchi salad is a fantastic addition to the plate when served with Asian noodle dishes, stir-fries, rice dishes, and Korean specialties. To be clear, this isn’t cucumber kimchi (in which the cucumber becomes the kimchi instead of cabbage) but a perfect pairing of cucumber and kimchi together.
This isn’t salad isn’t just going to sit daintily on the side of the plate! It can be as bold and spicy as you’d like, yet at the same time, it’s quite refreshing.
Ingredients for cucumber and kimchi salad
- Organic cucumber (1 good-size, 1 not-too-large English cucumber,
or 3 to 4 Kirbys)
- Kimchi (vegan; you’ll need 1 cup mild or medium)
- Scallions (2, thinly sliced)
- Ginger (fresh or bottled)
- Rice vinegar
- Basil, fresh, common or Thai (small bunch)
- Garlic, (2 cloves, optional)
- Sesame seeds, (1 to 2 teaspoons, optional)
From the pantry
- Natural granulated sugar
A note about kimchi and gochugaru
Kimchi is a fermented condiment based most often on cabbage (and which can include other vegetables). Think of kimchi as a spicier, chunkier, and more complex form of sauerkraut.
As a traditional fermented food, it’s a cornerstone of Korean cuisine, and a great way to add more probiotic-rich foods to your daily repertoire.
Note! Not all kimchi is vegan (some have fish ingredients), so check labels carefully to keep this soup plant-based. If you’re a DIY kind of cook, you can also make your own kimchi, but be aware that it takes several days to ferment.
Gochugaru (dried red chili flakes) is one of the most widely used of Korean spices. Like the domestic type of dried hot red pepper flakes, it has a pleasant kick. As one who isn’t that tolerant of super spicy foods, I find gochugaru quite palatable, so do try it!
What goes well with cucumber and kimchi salad?
As mentioned above, all kinds of Asian specialties harmonize with this relish-like salad with a kick, including noodle and rice dishes, vegetable stir-fries, and Korean specialties. Here are a few ideas:
- Korean-Inspired Spicy Eggplant
- Vegan Korean Beef-less Rice Bowl
- Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms, Napa Cabbage & Tofu
- Vegan Teriyaki Fried Rice and Tofu
Explore more …
- Vegan recipes using kimchi
- Refreshing & Easy Cucumber Salads
- Simple Asian-Style Sesame Cucumber Salad
- Japanese-Style Cucumber Kombu Salad
- 1 good-size organic cucumber, 1 not-too-large English cucumber, or 3 to 4 Kirby cucumbers
- 1 cup mild or medium vegan kimchi
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
- 1 tablespoons gochugaru, more or less to taste
- 2 to 3 teaspoons grated fresh or bottled ginger
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar
- Several leaves common or Thai basil, as desired, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, optional
- If using a regular cucumber, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and slice thinly, not more than 1/4 inch thick. If using English or Kirby cucumbers. simply slice not more than 1/4 inch thick.
- Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle lightly and evenly with salt. Let stand for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour.
- Rinse the cucumbers well with cool water, then pat dry with clean tea towel or paper towels.
- Combine the cucumbers with the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl and stir together. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, then serve.
See more plant-forward salads & sides.