So it’s week 2 of this excellent Korean cookery course at Kingston Adult Ed. We’re looking at different Kimchi, the fermented or pickling method for preserving food that originated in Korea. Hyung Soo, our chef and tutor explained that in the past, Winters in Korea were freezing and nothing grew, so whole communities would meet at harvest time to work together to preserve precious supplies.
Oi Sobagi (Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi)
Ingredients: 2 baby cucumbers, 30g Coarse Sea Salt, 25g Buchu (Korean Chives), 20g onion, 1 spring onion
Seasoning: 10g Saeu Jeot (Fermented Shrimp Paste), 10ml fish sauce, 30g chilli powder, 15g chopped garlic, 3g chopped ginger, 10g sugar
If you can get them, buy cucumber especially bred for salads: the seeds in the centre are smaller. Rub the cucumbers with coarse sea salt and rinse. Cut the cucumber into chunks around 6cm in length. Using a sharp knife, punch holes in the cucumber skin.
Finely chop the Buchu (chives), onion and spring onion.
Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl, add all the chopped Buchu, onion and spring onion.
Wearing latex gloves to protect your hands is wise. Stuff the seasoning into the cuts on the cucumber skin so that the ingredients can penetrate.
You can serve immediately or wait a while if you like. Delicious and so, so simple.