Quick Pickled Gochugaru Cucumbers

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

When you think of Korean condiments, the semisweet, moderately hot kimchi might come to mind. Gochugaru Chile Flakes are the foundation of this popular condiment as well as an abundance of other traditional Korean dishes. While also prevalent in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, Gochugaru Chile Flakes – an intoxicating blend of heat and acidity – is at the heart of Korean cuisine.

Pickled cucumbers are widely celebrated in Korea as a delicious snack or side dish. Our pickled cucumbers create a tasty bite with the heat of chiles and Gochugaru Chile Flakes, pungent garlic, and a hint of sweetness. These easy-to-make, authentic pickled cucumbers are long-lasting, so you can quickly prepare a go-to refrigerated snack to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Curious Spoon Culinary Team
Prep Time:
5 minutes
Cook Time:
5 minutes
Total Time:


Yield 1-2 cups
  • 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar*
  • 1 tsp. Curious Spoon Gochugaru Chile Flakes
  • 1 tsp. White Sugar
  • 4 Pickling Cucumbers*

From the Kitchen

  • Small saucepan
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board

What is it and where to find it?

* Rice Wine Vinegar: As the name implies, Rice Wine Vinegar is vinegar made from fermented rice. It’s also called Rice Vinegar, but should not be confused with Rice Wine, which is a sweet alcoholic drink that does not have the same acidic flavor necessary for recipes calling for rice vinegar. Look for it in the oil and vinegar section of most grocery stores or in the Asian section.

Want to learn more about Rice Vinegar? Check out this MasterClass by Niki Nakayama on the topic!

* Pickling Cucumbers: A cucumber is a cucumber is a cucumber… right? Actually, there are plenty of types of cucumbers that can keep you cooking or pickling all year long. Cucumbers tend to be broken down into three varieties: slicing, pickling, and burpless/seedless. The most common pickling cucumbers are Kirby Cucumbers and Gherkins. They are great for picking because of their smaller size and crunchy skin. Before you pickle cucumbers, make sure to slice off the ends and discard. The end of the cucumber, where the blossom comes from, contains more enzymes than the rest of the vegetable. These enzymes are heat resistant and can make pickles softer than desired.

Don’t worry though, if you don’t have pickling cucumbers, you can still use that regular slicing cucumber in your veggie drawer. (Cooking is an art & a science – so experiment with whatever cucumbers you have on hand!)

Notes from the Chef:

These quick pickled cucumbers should be kept in the fridge until snack or mealtime and last for about 1 month on average.

Make it a meal:
Serve these cucumbers on Korean steamed bun sandwiches for the ultimate flavorful topping.
Pairs well with:
Pairs well with a light Korean beer.
  1. 1

    Combine rice wine vinegar, Curious Spoon Gochugaru Chile Flakes, and white sugar in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Set aside to cool.

  2. 2

    Slice cucumbers about 1/4-inch thick. Toss sliced cucumbers with cooled vinegar mixture.

  3. 3

    Place in covered container and store in refrigerator.