cucumber panchan

Right now is prime cucumber time and for me it also means that I can make two of my favourite Korean side dishes, or panchan/banchan. Both of these would be awesome with the kalbi that I posted yesterday. I actually enjoy both of these with just some plain steamed rice. They're refreshing and tangy and perfect on hot days when you don't feel like cooking.

* oi sobagi
stuffed cucumbers
10-12 small, firm kirby cucumbers or
1 small carrot, shredded
1/3 C garlic chives, finely chopped
1/4 C green onion, finely chopped
1/2 C kosher salt
1/2 C gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
1 tsp ginger, finely minced

1. Prepare cucumbers by cutting off both ends the cutting a deep "x" through one end (but not all the way through). Boil about 5 cups of water and add kosher salt. Pour this water over the cucumbers and let sit for about 45 minutes. Drain water and rinse cucumbers.

2. Combine green onions, carrots and chives. Mix sauce ingredients and add the green onion mixture.

3. Stuff each cucumber with a bit of the mixture. Rub some of the mixture over the surface of each cucumber also. Place in a container and pour any remaining sauce/stuffing over the cucumbers. Eat within one week or the cucumbers will become soft.

* oiji muchim
marinated pickled cucumbers

3 Korean pickled cucumbers (I use Wang brand found in the refrigerated "pickles" section of most Korean supermarkets. You can sometimes find fresh pickled cucumbers in the Kimchi section as well.)
2 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 stalk green onion, finely minced
1 tsp sesame seeds

1. Thinly slice the pickled cucumbers and rinse under cold water. Drain and squeeze out excess water.

2. Place in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. This will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

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