This Korean cucumber salad (Oi Muchim) is one of the easiest banchan recipes to make. The pickled cucumber has the perfect crunchy texture and is loaded with umami flavors. The sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors make It so addictive.
- Korean Cucumber Salad (오이무침) - Easy Banchan
- Ingredients for Korean Pickled Cucumber
- The Best Types of Cucumbers to Use for Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad
- Salting Cucumbers - The Secret to Keep Cucumbers from Getting Too Watery
- How to Make Korean Cucumber Salad
- How Long Do Korean Cucumbers Last in the Fridge?
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Korean Cucumber Salad (오이무침) - Easy Banchan
Korean cucumber salad is one of the most popular Korean side dishes (banchan) served ahead of the main course.
The bright and refreshing taste goes well with BBQ meat, seafood, or rice dishes. You can also pair the Korean pickled cucumber with Kalbi, Pork tenderloin stir fry, and many more Asian entrees.
Unlike Kimchi, this Korean cucumber salad doesn't require a fermentation process. You just need to mix the cucumber with the sauce ingredients and it can be served immediately.
Ingredients for Korean Pickled Cucumber
To make this Korean cucumber side dish, you'll need:
- cucumber. I used Persian cucumbers from Trader Joe's.
- rice wine vinegar. It's less acidic and sweeter than white distilled vinegar.
- sesame oil. It adds a delicious flavor and aroma to pickled cucumber.
- sugar and salt. I used both sugar and salt to balance the tartness of the vinegar.
- Korean red pepper flakes. Korean red pepper flakes are made of dried peppers that are chopped to a size between flakes and powder. Gochugaro has a mildly spicy taste, smoky flavor, and vibrant red color. It's also a little fruity. You can find Korean red pepper flakes (aka Gochugaru) at any Asian grocery store, Vons, Ralph's, or online at Amazon.
- green onion. This is an optional ingredient.
If you can't find Gochugaru in your area, you can substitute it with other red pepper flakes (such as chipotle powder).
Please keep in mind that other red pepper flakes are probably spicier than Gochugaru. For that reason, you may need to use less of it and chop the red pepper flakes until they get powdery.
The Best Types of Cucumbers to Use for Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad
Seedless and thin-skinned cucumbers are perfect for Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad.
You can use medium-to-small-sized cucumbers, such as Kirby, Persian cucumber (aka Cocktail cucumber), or even long ones like English cucumbers.
In this recipe, I used my favorite, which is Persian cucumbers. If your cucumber has a lot of seeds, you can remove the seeds beforehand to make the salad less watery.
Salting Cucumbers - The Secret to Keep Cucumbers from Getting Too Watery
The most important step in making your cucumber salad extra crunchy is that you have to salt the cucumbers to draw out as much liquid as possible.
This salting process is not complicated and can be done in minutes while you're preparing the other ingredients.
How to Make Korean Cucumber Salad
1. Prepare the Cucumber
- Rinse, dry, and slice the cucumber into ¼-inch rounds.
2. Salting the Cucumber
- In a bowl, combine chopped cucumber with salt, then transfer it to a colander. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the cucumber with cold water to get rid of any excess salt so the salad won't be too salty.
- Gently pat the cucumber dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towels to remove any excess water before mixing the sauce in. Don't squeeze the cucumbers as they are delicate!
2. Make the Dressing
- Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce until it's well combined.
3. Season the Cucumber
- Place the cucumber in a bowl, then pour in the sauce. Gently toss to combine.
How Long Do Korean Cucumbers Last in the Fridge?
You can keep the leftover cucumber salad in an airtight container.
Properly stored, it can last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Any longer than that the cucumber will start losing its crispiness and freshness.
Check Out More Delicious and Easy Korean Recipes
- Korean Bean Sprout Salad (Kongnamul Muchim)
- Korean BBQ Wings
- Sweet Potato Noodles (Japchae)
- Bulgogi Taco
- Beef Stir Fry with Gochujang
- Siguemchi Namul (Spinach Salad)
I hope you'll enjoy this recipe and share it with friends! If you try it and don’t mind, please leave me a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly recipes and follow me on Pinterest.
Korean Cucumber Salad Recipe - Oi Muchim
- 7 oz Persian cucumbers (Cocktail cucumbers), (about 2 pieces or 1¾ cups sliced)
- 1 teaspoon regular salt
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1¼ teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes (aka Gochugaru)
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
- Rinse, dry, and slice the cucumber into ¼-inch rounds.
- In a bowl, combine chopped cucumber with salt, then transfer it to a colander over a bowl. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Gently rinse the cucumber slices with cold water for about 45 seconds then pat them dry with clean paper towels to remove excess liquid.
- In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the sauce until it's well combined. Stir in the cucumber and gently toss to combine.
So simple and cute dish! Easy to follow recipe. Tastes perfect. Thank you!
You're welcome, Iryna! I am glad that you liked it.
Such a gorgeous banchan! I absolutely love that texture from pickling the cucumbers and it all comes together so easily!
Such a light and flavorful salad with the perfect amount of kick! Easily, a new favorite dish!
Thanks for trying and sharing your feedback, Sara!
This is one of the tastiest things I've ever had! Can't wait to make it again! 🙂
It sounds like a great plan, Kris! Thanks for sharing your feedback.
One of my absolute favorite sides when I get Korean food. It's a must! Loved making it myself. This recipe is so delicious!
I agree with you, Dana! It's one of my favorite Korean side dishes too.