If using garden cucumbers, peel them. Cut the cucumbers into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Put the slices in a colander over a bowl or in the sink, rub them with the salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, smash and then mince the garlic and put it in a medium bowl. Stir in the vinegar, sesame oil and, pepper flakes and sugar if using.
Toss the cucumbers with the dressing. Put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes before eating--the pickles are best when super cold. To serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a serving bowl.
The Sixth ingredient. A little bit of sugar, added in with the vinegar.
From Food Network Kitchens