Oi Muchim (Korean Cucumber Salad)


In the summer, I start to grow more cucumbers than I can even pickle. It might seem like a travesty, but there’s many things I can do with these surplus cukes, which is great, because my pickles last me all year anyway. One tasty treat is a cucumber vodka and cocktail I make with it.

Another favorite is this cucumber side dish, or banchan, which is also really tasty when used as a component in bibimbap (a spicy mixed vegetable and rice dish); I plan to post my recipe some time.

In the meantime, this side will go great with your Korean barbecue. It is refreshing, crunchy, and spicy. It can be eaten right away, but I find the flavor to be best after waiting a day or so.

This recipe will make about 3-4 servings

In a sealed container in the fridge it can last up to a week, but will start to soften after several days.

You will need:

  • Knife & cutting board
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Optional: garlic press
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Colander


  • 2 Kirby cucumbers (or sub with 1 large Korean or English cucumber)
  • 1 TBSP gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 scallions, thin-sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds


1.) Thinly slice cucumber(s). Place in mixing bowl and toss with the salt. Place in refrigerator and wait 20-30 minutes.

2.) Transfer cucumbers to strainer or colander and shake a few times, to remove excess moisture. There is no need to rinse.

3.) Return cucumbers to mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. Toss thoroughly to ensure each cucumber slice is coated. Transfer to storage container.

4.) Allow flavors to meld in the fridge for about an hour before serving. Ideally, allow to sit overnight and give a good stir before serving.

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