Korean
A bowl of oi muchim with wooden chopsticks placed beside it.

Oi Muchim, the refreshing spicy Korean cucumber salad, is an incredibly versatile side dish. The bright and vibrant flavors will awaken your taste buds and beautifully complement a variety of Korean main dishes. Whether served alongside your Korean BBQ feast or paired with other authentic Korean dishes, this crunchy and flavorful salad is sure to delight! Learn how to make it!

A bowl of oi muchim with wooden chopsticks placed next to it.

Why You Should Make Oi Muchim at Home

Oi Muchim (Korean Cucumber Salad) It's my favorite dish for spring and summer. The light and refreshing scent of cucumber combined with its spicy, slightly sweet and sour flavor adds a delicious kick to the taste buds, making it perfect for perking up the appetite on a hot day.

Plus, it's super easy to make and pairs well with a wide range of dishes, from Korean barbecue to everyday meals.

He holds a small bowl of oi muchim in his hand.He holds a small bowl of oi muchim in his hand.

My best tips

Typically, it is recommended to make this Korean cucumber salad about 15 minutes before serving to keep the cucumbers fresh and crisp. That's how I learned in my home economics class. The thinking is that any longer can make the cucumber a little mushy and dilute the flavor due to the natural water content of cucumbers.

However, from my experience, letting the seasoned cucumbers rest for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator enhances both the texture and flavor. Plus, you may find that day-old Oi Muchim tastes even better, although I I wouldn't recommend keeping it for more than 2 days for optimal taste.

I also find this salad to be a little spicier than your average bok choy kimchi. You may notice the spiciness kicking in shortly after you make it. However, after chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes, the cucumbers will release some water, diluting the spiciness a bit. Personally, I really like the cucumber this way: perfectly chilled, still crunchy, and perfectly seasoned.

If you can't handle this level of spiciness, you may want to reduce the gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) and add a pinch of sesame oil. I definitely don't recommend overdoing the sesame oil, as it can easily overpower the flavor and you won't be able to appreciate the fresh, lively taste of the Korean cucumber salad.

When I shared my recipe 9 years ago, I didn't use gochujang (Korean chili paste) because it wasn't common, even according to the home economics textbook. But after I found out that my mom adds a really small amount (because adding too much can give a bad texture), I tried it and it came out really good, especially with a little bit of sesame oil. The gochujang gives the cucumber an even brighter red color and helps distribute the dressing sauce well. – But again, not overdoing it is key!

Anyway, that's all from me. I hope you enjoy trying my Oi Muchim recipe!

Ingredients for Oi Muchim, a Korean cucumber salad, displayed on a white marble backgroundIngredients for Oi Muchim, a Korean cucumber salad, displayed on a white marble background

Ingredients for Korean Cucumber Salad

Principal

  • 1 Cucumber (145 g, 5.1 oz): I used Lebanese cucumber. You can also use Korean cucumber, English cucumber, or other cucumbers suitable for pickling or salads.
  • 1/4 onion (25 g, 0.9 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon Korean Coarse Salt (or coarse salt) *** or 1 Teaspoon fine sea salt

Seasoning sauce

  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame seeds
  • (optional) 1/2 teaspoon gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • (optional) A pinch of sesame oil: This should be a very small amount, about 1/32 of a teaspoon.

* 1 tablespoon = 15 ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check out my list of essential Korean cooking ingredients!

How to make Oi Muchim

1. Rinse the cucumber thoroughly under cold running water. Cut off both ends and thinly slice the cucumber into pieces of about 0.5 cm (0.2 inches). Place the slices in a large bowl, add the salt and gently mix together. (Coarse salt is recommended, but if using fine salt, be sure to sprinkle it evenly to avoid overly salty spots.) Let sit for 15 minutes.

Collage showing a sliced ​​cucumber mixed with salt in a transparent bowl for making Oi Muchim.Collage showing a sliced ​​cucumber mixed with salt in a transparent bowl for making Oi Muchim.

2. While you wait, finely chop the onion. Prepare the dressing sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.

Mix the Oi Muchim sauce ingredients in a small bowl.Mix the Oi Muchim sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3. After 15 minutes, rinse the cucumber under cold running water, removing any remaining salt from the cucumber and the bowl. Drain the water through a sieve and lightly pat the cucumber slices dry with paper towels. Place them in a clean, dry bowl.

Rinse the salted cucumbers and dry them with kitchen paper.Rinse the salted cucumbers and dry them with kitchen paper.

4. Add the sliced ​​onion and the dressing sauce. Mix everything together gently but thoroughly with your hands. It is recommended to wear a food preparation glove for this step, as you will need to spread the sauce around the cucumber.

Collage showing slices of cucumber, onion and oi muchim sauce mixed together.Collage showing slices of cucumber, onion and oi muchim sauce mixed together.

5. Place the seasoned cucumber in a sealed glass container and refrigerate for 30 minutes to cool. Then, serve with a bowl of rice and other Korean side dishes. Enjoy!

Close up of a bowl of oi muchim.Close up of a bowl of oi muchim.

Other Cucumber Recipes You Might Like

If you liked this recipe, you might also want to try these cucumber recipes!

  • Cucumber Kimchi: Traditional Korean Cucumber Kimchi Recipe.
  • Sautéed Cucumber – Super Quick and Easy Korean Cucumber Side Dish with a Delicate Flavor
  • Lemon Pickled Cucumbers – Light, refreshing and tangy pickled cucumbers with a hint of lemon flavor. A great accompaniment to Westernized Korean dishes.

Do you like Korean food? Explore our site for more authentic Korean recipes, including how to make the perfect Korean BBQ at home or other easy Korean recipes. Also, never miss a new recipe by subscribing to our newsletter and join us in celebrating Korean cuisine!

A bowl of oi muchim with wooden chopsticks placed next to it.A bowl of oi muchim with wooden chopsticks placed next to it.
  • Rinse the cucumber thoroughly under cold running water. Cut off both ends and thinly slice the cucumber into pieces of about 0.5 cm (0.2 inches). Place the slices in a large bowl, add the salt and gently mix together. (Coarse salt is recommended, but if using fine salt, be sure to sprinkle it evenly to avoid overly salty spots.) Let sit for 15 minutes.

  • While you wait, thinly slice the onion. Prepare the dressing sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.

  • After 15 minutes, rinse the cucumber under cold running water, removing any remaining salt from the cucumber and the bowl. Drain the water with a sieve and lightly pat the cucumber slices dry with paper towels. Place them in a clean, dry bowl.

  • Add the sliced ​​onion and the dressing sauce. Mix everything together gently but thoroughly with your hands. It is recommended to wear a food preparation glove for this step, as you will need to spread the sauce around the cucumber.

  • Place the seasoned cucumber in a sealed glass container and refrigerate for 30 minutes to cool. Then, serve with a bowl of rice and other Korean side dishes. Enjoy!
  • 1 tablespoon = 15 ml
  • If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check out my list of essential Korean cooking ingredients!
  • Storage: Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. For best taste, it is best not to store it for more than 2 days.

Calories: 25kilocalorie | Carbohydrates: 4G | Sodium: 1778mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1G | Sugar: 2G | Vitamin A: 645IU | C vitamin: 3.1mg | Soccer: 22mg | Iron: 0.6mg

The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutritional calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.

I really love hearing how you did with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

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