Eating cucumbers this way is very popular in Korean cuisine, and this "salad" has been trending all over social media. Many traditional recipes call for Gochugaru (Korean chili powder); however, I wasn't able to find any near me, so I instead used a combination of Gochujang (Korean chili paste) and red pepper flakes.
This dish is very easy to make, and can be customized based on your spice preferences. You don't have to cut the cucumbers "slinky" style, as I like to call it, but it certainly makes them fun to eat!
- 8 mini cucumbers, tops and bottoms removed, then sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon gochujang
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon scallions, finely sliced
Going in a diagonal motion, cut small slits in each cucumber's half, being careful not to cut all the way through the cucumber. Once done on one side, flip the cucumber upside down and cut in the same direction in small diagonal slits (this should create a slinky effect). Place into a large bowl. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, gochujang, salt, sugar, minced garlic, sesame seeds, and scallions until well combined and sugar is dissolved.
Toss sauce over cucumbers to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. [Note: allowing the cucumbers to sit overnight in the refrigerator will give them time to soak up with sauce and in turn a more robust flavor.]