Korean Cucumber Salad

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The vivid tastes and variety of banchan in Korean cuisine are renowned globally. Korean cucumber salad, or Oi Muchim, typically grabs attention. This light salad is easy to make and has just the right amount of sweetness, acidity, and spice.

Things That Make a Good Recipe for Korean Cucumber Salad

Making a great Korean cucumber salad is all about keeping things simple and making sure that all the flavours go well together. Recipes from the past usually include:

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The crunchiness of the cucumber

The heat from Korean chilli powder or gochugaru

A hint of sweetness to balance the spice

A tangy edge from vinegar or lemon juice

Making sure that these things are adjusted makes each bite explode with flavour, which is why Korean food fans love it. At The World of Korean Banchan, you can learn more about the traditional parts of Korean side foods.

question that is often asked

How do you make Korean cucumber salad last longer?

Korean cucumber salad is best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days. Note that the cucumbers will continue to release some liquid, so it’s advisable to drain them before serving again.

Can Korean cucumber salad be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare this salad a few hours ahead. Salt the cucumbers as directed to draw out excess water, which helps maintain their crunch even after a few hours.

What are the best cucumbers to use for Korean cucumber salad?

The best cucumbers for this salad are ones that are crunchy and have thin skins, such as Persian, English, or Korean cucumbers. These varieties have fewer seeds and maintain a crisp texture.

Can I reduce the spice level in Korean cucumber salad?

Absolutely! The spice level can easily be adjusted by reducing the amount of gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes) or omitting it altogether. For those who enjoy a milder flavour, you can substitute it with a smaller amount of paprika for colour without much heat.

Overview of Ingredients

A classic Korean cucumber salad requires a few key ingredients:

Cucumbers: Thinly sliced

Sesame Oil: For a nutty flavour

Gochugaru: Adds a vibrant heat

Garlic: minced for a punch of flavour

Sugar and Vinegar: For the sweet and tangy profile


Chef’s Tips for Perfect Korean Cucumber Salad

Choosing the Right Cucumbers:

Opt for fresh, firm cucumbers with no blemishes. Persian or English cucumbers are ideal due to their thin skin and fewer seeds. These varieties tend to be crunchier and more flavorful, which is crucial for a good Korean cucumber salad.

Properly preparing the cucumbers:

Wash the cucumbers thoroughly. For extra crunch, soak them in ice water for about 30 minutes before slicing. This step revitalises the cucumbers, making them extra crisp.

Use a mandoline slicer for evenly thin slices, which allows the dressing to coat each slice more effectively.

Salting the cucumbers:

After slicing, sprinkle a light layer of salt over the cucumbers and let them sit for about 10–15 minutes. The salt draws out excess moisture, which not only intensifies the flavours but also improves the texture of the cucumbers.

After salting, be sure to rinse the cucumbers and pat them dry with paper towels. This prevents the salad from becoming too salty and ensures the dressing adheres well.

Balancing Flavours:

The dressing should have a balanced blend of sweet, spicy, and tangy elements. Start with equal parts vinegar and sugar, adjusting according to taste.

Gradually add the gochugaru to achieve the desired level of heat without overwhelming the other flavours.

Dressing the Salad at the Right Time:

To maintain the cucumber’s crispness, dress the salad just before serving. This prevents the cucumbers from becoming soggy.

If you need to make the salad ahead of time, keep the dressing separate and toss it with the cucumbers just before it’s time to eat.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature to bring out the flavours. If refrigerated, let it sit outside for a few minutes before serving.

Consider garnishing with additional green onions or a sprinkle of chilli flakes for an eye-catching presentation that adds a burst of colour and flavour.


Health Benefits and Nutrition Information

Cucumbers are a mainstay in many diets due to their health benefits and nutritional content. This dish not only delivers on taste but also offers a range of health benefits, including:

Hydration: Cucumbers are 95% water, making them perfect for hydration.

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health.

Low Calorie: Ideal for those monitoring their calorie intake.

Cucumbers’ health benefits are enhanced when paired with other nutritious recipes, such as those found in our collection of healthy chicken dishes.

Customising Your Korean Cucumber Salad

Tailoring your Oi Muchim allows for creativity and personal taste preferences. Some variations include:

Spice levels: Adjust the amount of gochugaru based on your preference for heat.

Add-ins: Consider adding thinly sliced onions or carrots for extra texture and flavour.

Protein: Tofu or boiled eggs can turn this side dish into a hearty meal.


What to Serve with Korean Cucumber Salad

Oi Muchim pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes. Here are some great combinations:

Bulgogi: The sweetness of the meat complements the tanginess of the salad.

Bibimbap: Adds a refreshing crunch to this mixed rice dish.

Grilled meats: A perfect side to cut through the richness of barbecued meats.


Why not try Korean cucumber salad now that you know it’s simple and tasty? This dish will wow at your next lunch or party. Share your experience and recipe modifications. We value reader feedback!

The method makes it easy for beginners to prepare a Korean cucumber salad that tastes like their grandmother’s. This delicious meal has crunch and zing!


Korean Cucumber Salad

This straightforward recipe will teach you how to prepare a refreshing and crusty Korean cucumber salad. Ideal for serving as a side dish.

  • Author: Gabriela cardenas
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes (includes resting time for cucumbers)
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Korean


  • 4 medium Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Korean red chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit for 10 minutes to draw out moisture.
  2. Rinse the cucumbers under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and minced garlic.
  4. Add cucumbers to the dressing, tossing to coat evenly.
  5. Sprinkle with Korean red chili flakes, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds.
  6. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld


  • For a less spicy version, reduce the amount of gochugaru or substitute with mild chili flakes.
  • If you prefer a sweeter taste, adjust the sugar according to your preference.
  • This salad is best served fresh but can be refrigerated for up to a day.

Keywords: Oi Muchim, Korean Cucumber Side Dish, Spicy Cucumber Salad

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Korean Cucumber Side Dish / Oi Muchim / Spicy Cucumber Salad

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