Gluten free and sugar free Cucumber Kimchi Recipe

This cucumber kimchi recipe might be the fastest way I’ve ever made kimchi. It’s true that it might remind some people more of a cucumber salad than the stronger fermented kimchi we all know. With its delightful crunch, bright acidity, and perfectly balanced spice, this cucumber kimchi has become a favorite banchan (side dish) in our house.

Cucumber Kimchi
Cucumber Kimchi

Cucumbers that Work for This Side Dish.

For this cucumber kimchi, the ideal cucumbers are ones with thicker flesh and fewer seeds, so you won’t need to peel them. Great options include Korean, Japanese, English, Persian, and Armenian varieties.

But don’t worry if you don’t have those specific types on hand! Feel free to experiment with what you can find. I even tried Straight Eight cucumbers recently, and even though I had to peel some parts, the kimchi still turned out delicious.

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As a reference, I used 2 English cucumbers in this recipe. If you’re using a smaller variety like Persian cucumbers, you’ll probably need 6-8 of them. Don’t worry about measuring exactly – use your best judgment, it’ll work out!

For more info on choosing cucumbers for kimchi, you can check out resources from Daily Harvest.

What do You Eat Cucumber Salad with?

This kimchi pairs well with our Sticky Asian Pork Ribs as well as the 45 Minutes Tender BBQ Ribs. Moreover, it is delicious with fish or even by itself so I hope you give this recipe a try.

How Long Does Cucumber Salad Good for?

Store this cucumber kimchi in an air tight container and let marinade at at least 20 – 30 minutes before serving. Store the leftover in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4 -5 days. I doubt it will last that long!

cucumber kimchi

Cucumber Kimchi Recipe

Mary Thatcher
Steps by steps cucumber kimchi recipe.
4 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Korean Inspire
Servings 4


  • 2 English cucumbers or 6-8 of the smaller variety such as Persian. See the notes above.
  • ½ tbsp sea salt
  • 1 – 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Gochugaru Korean chili flakes. See the link.
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 onion
  • ½ carrot
  • 1-2 green onion chopped
  • some sesame seeds optional


Prepare the vegetables.
  • Start by chopping cucumbers. Add salt to the cucumbers and let them rest in the bowl for about 15 minutes to season and draw out the moisture at the same time.
  • Chop onion, green onion, garlic, and shred carrot. Set them aside.
Assemble and Store
  • Pour or strain liquid from the cucumbers then add minced garlic, onion, green onion, and carrot.
  • Season the kimchi with Gochugaru or the Korean chili flakes, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.
  • Sprinkle some sesame seeds. Store in the container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Serve with rice, meat, or fish. It's also good on it's own. Not spicy! Just a little kick to keep you awake 😀
Keyword cucumber kimchi
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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