Late August and I’m still reaching for quick and easy, no cook dishes that don’t skimp on flavor. And this Korean Cucumber Salad, known as Oi Muchim, is a favorite. It’s cooling and crunchy, a little spicy, and it has an amazing umami packed dressing. You should have everything in your pantry already and it comes together so quickly. Korean Cucumber Salad is a perfect side to grilled meats and would be really happy to be served as a banchan with Korean BBQ Short Ribs, but to be honest sometimes I just make a big bowl of it for dinner and call it a day. And no one will complain if you do the same.
This cucumber salad is different from cucumber kimchi in that it’s not fermented and is ready in minutes. So if you like cucumber kimchi, give this recipe a try. You’ll get similar flavors with no waiting time, so let’s get into it.
Start by Prepping the Veggies for Korean Cucumber Salad
This is one of those recipes where everyone who makes it tweaks it just a little bit. I like to add carrots to mine for their crunch, sweetness, and color. And I prefer either English or Persian cucumbers for this as they have fewer seeds and therefore tend to be crunchier. I also like that their skin isn’t waxed. If you can only find cucumbers with waxy skins, I would recommend peeling them.
Once all the veggies are prepped and I pile them all into a mixing bowl:
Korean Cucumber Salad Dressing
This dressing is what takes an otherwise simple little salad to guest worthy masterpiece. Combine sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil (both key ingredients in Korean food) with soy sauce and gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), plus flavor standbys like garlic and ginger to make rich, toasty, and savory magic. You can use whatever red pepper flakes you have on hand, but gochugaru is worth seeking out for its mild heat and smoky, fruity flavor. Other pepper flakes may be significantly hotter so use accordingly.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved; the dressing will be thick and chunky.
You can make the dressing ahead of time, and prep the veggies earlier in the day as well. Keep them separate until you’re planning to serve as the longer the salad sits the more water logged the veggies will get.
Make this quick little Korean Cucumber Salad tonight and see why it’s something I reach for so often during these sweltering days. Let me know what you think and of course tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!Print
- 1 English cucumber or 4 persian cucumbers
- 1 small carrot
- ¼ yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon peeled minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Wash and trim the cucumber. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and then into ½ inch thick slices on an angle. Put the cucumber into a large bowl.
- Wash and peel the carrot. Cut the carrot into thin slices and then stack the carrot and cut across the slices into thin matchsticks. Add the carrot to the cucumber.
- In a separate bowl, make the sauce by combining the ginger, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and sugar. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables and mix the vegetables well coated.
- Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator. This cucumber side dish is best eaten within several hours.
*Cucumbers put out a lot of liquid. So if you’re planning on making this ahead of time, prep all of the items but keep the cucumbers separate until the last minute. Toss with the sauce when you are about to serve.
Keywords: cucumber, banchan, salad, oi muchim, gochugaru, korean, sesame seeds, vegan, summer, no cook, raw