10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (2024)

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By Chris Joe

5 from 15 votes

Aug 27, 2023, Updated Mar 30, 2024

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Every family has their own recipe for a Korean Cucumber Salad, also known in Korean as Oi Muchim. For those of you who don’t know, my wife is Korean and this is her family’s recipe!

The cucumbers are crisp and refreshing, seasoned with a wonderful soy-based sauce that’s spicy, sweet, with a touch of garlic and onion to create a perfect side dish to go with any recipe or to even enjoy as a snack!

10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (2)

Watch the Korean Cucumber Salad Recipe Video Below!

Table of Contents

  • Watch the Korean Cucumber Salad Recipe Video Below!
  • Ingredients for Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
  • How to Make Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
  • Expert Tips for the Best Korean Cucumber Salad
  • Storage Tips
  • What to Eat with Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
  • Korean Cucumber Salad Recipe

One of my favorite things about Korean cuisine is the plethora of ban-chan (side dishes) – everyone has their favorite, and every family has their own recipes. I love how Korean cuisine incorporates so many vegetables – Korean Bean Sprout Salad and Korean Spinach Side Dish are two of my favorites (if you want the spicier version, try Spicy Korean Spinach Side Dish!) Of course, the first side dish that runs out first is always Korean Braised Potatoes! My (Korean) wife’s favorites are Korean Stir Fried Fish Cakes and Korean Egg Roll – she has so many fond memories of having these packed for her lunch at school!

Ingredients for Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

This quick and easy Korean Cucumber Salad comes together in just minutes, with only a few ingredients – most that you already have in your pantry!

  • Cucumbers:
    • I recommend you use a seedless variety, such as English or Persian. Seedless cucumbers will help keep the sliced cucumbers crisp for longer.
    • If you can’t find a seedless cucumber, cut your cucumber lengthwise and before you begin slicing, remove the seeds in the middle with a spoon. (It doesn’t have to be perfect, just scrap out what you can.)
  • Light Soy Sauce: You want to use light soy sauce or all-purpose soy sauce; do NOT use dark soy sauce, as it is too sweet and thick for this recipe.
  • Gochugaru:
    • Gochugaru is Korean red chili pepper flakes (or powder, depending on which version you purchase). It’s vibrant in color and smoky in flavor, and while the heat level varies, it’s definitely on the spicy side. I love using this ingredient because of the layers of flavor it adds. If you like making Korean food at home, you should definitely have this in your pantry.
    • Adjust the amount used based on your own spice tolerance level.
    • Korean cooking has become so popular in recent years that I can find gochugaru at almost grocery store I shop at, not just my local Korean grocery.
    • There isn’t a great substitute for this ingredient, I’m sorry! You’ll need this to make Korean Cucumber Salad at home.
  • Sesame Oil
  • Roasted Sesame Seeds
  • Sugar: The sugar helps balanced out the heat of the gochugaru.
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • White Onion
  • Kosher Salt
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How to Make Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

1. Slice the Cucumbers

Wash and dry your cucumbers. Take a sharp knife and slice the ends off the cucumber.

I like my Korean Cucumber Salad to be thin 1/8″ (2-3mm) discs. You can cut them to the size and shape you prefer. I like 1/8″ for two reasons: 1. they are thin enough to soak up the dressing but 2. thick enough that the cucumber slices stay crunchy and do not turn mushy.

10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (4)
10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (5)

2. Salt the Cucumbers and Drain Excess Water

Once you have your cucumber cut, place them in a bowl and add 1/2 tbsp of kosher salt. Using your hands to mix and massage the cucumbers with the salt until the salt is completely absorbed. Salting the cucumbers will draw out excess moisture from the cucumbers, which helps keep them crisp in the final salad.

Set them aside to rest for 10 minutes.

10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (6)

After the salted cucumbers have rested for 10 minutes, you’ll see excess water pool at the bottom your bowl. Make sure to drain this water so the cucumber salad doesn’t become watery and soggy! The salt acts as an agent to draw out excess water from the cucumber as well as keep them crisp in the salad. Don’t skip this step!

Once the water is drained, taste a cucumber for seasoning. If the cucumber is too salty for your liking, rinse the cucumbers with water and pat them dry thoroughly with a paper towel. If you are happy with the seasoning, move onto step 3!

10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (7)

3. Mix Together the Cucumber Salad

Once you have drained the excess moisture from your salted cucumbers, it’s time to add in your remaining ingredients!

Add light soy sauce, gochugaru, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sugar, onions, garlic, and green onions to your bowl of cut cucumbers.

10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (8)

With your hands (I like to use a glove for this step), mix together the salad until the cucumbers turn a deep red color from the red pepper flakes. Let them sit in the dressing for another few minutes to allow them to soak up all that delicious marinade.

4. Let The Korean Cucumber Salad Marinate

For maximum flavor, let the Korean Cucumber Salad marinate for 10 minutes to allow the cucumbers to absorb all of the flavors of the ingredients. Plate them up and you’re ready to eat!

10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (9)

PRO TIPS

Expert Tips for the Best Korean Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Shape/Size

  • I like to cut these into 1/8″ thin discs (2-3mm) because they’re thin enough to soak up the dressing, while being thick enough to stay crunchy. However, you can cut them to whatever thickness or even shape you prefer – there is no wrong way! Other popular shapes I’ve seen are:
    • half moons
    • thick round slices
    • 2″ thin diagonal slices

Salt Your Cucumbers and Drain the Excess Water

  • Salting the cucumbers will draw out excess moisture from the cucumbers, which helps keep them crisp in the final salad. Make sure to let the salted cucumbers rest for 10 minutes to really draw out the moisture.
  • PLEASE drain the excess water from the salted cucumbers – this will help the cucumber salad doesn’t become watery and soggy! The salt acts as an agent to draw out excess water from the cucumber as well as keep them crisp in the salad. Do not skip this step!

Storage Tips

Store your Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Please note that as they continue to sit, the cucumbers will lose water. This can lead to excess liquid, sometimes dilution of the flavors, and the cucumbers become softer. I like to eat my Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) within the first 1-2 days, as I prefer my cucumbers on the crunchier side. You may not mind this (my wife likes them softer, with the flavors more melded together.)

What to Eat with Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

If you are looking for a main dish to pair with Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim), I would make my famous Korean Short Ribs (LA Galbi), Beef Bulgogi, or Spicy Pork Bulgogi! If you would rather eat a vegetarian option, you have to try my Korean Braised Tofu – it’s so flavorful, you won’t miss meat.

5 from 15 votes

Korean Cucumber Salad

By: Chris Joe

Servings: 4

Prep: 10 minutes mins

Cook: 10 minutes mins

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10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (10)

This spicy Korean Cucumber Salad comes together in only a few minutes and is crisp and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cucumber, English or Persian
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp gochugaru
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

  • Slice ends off of your cucumber then thinly slice them into 2-3 mm disks.

  • Add the cucumbers to a bowl, then mix together with salt and let them rest for 10 minutes. Drain out the excess water and taste for seasoning. If too salty, rinse and pat them dry with a paper towel before continuing to step 3.

  • In the same bowl with the drained and dried cucumbers, combine with soy sauce, korean red pepper flakes, sugar, sesame seeds, onion, scallion, grated garlic, and sesame oil. Mix the cucumbers and seasonings until well combined and the cucumbers turn a deep red color.

  • Marinate the cucumbers for 10 minutes in the dressing before serving and enjoy!

Notes

KEY TIPS:

Cucumber Shape/Size

    • I like to cut these into 1/8″ thin discs (2-3mm) because they’re thin enough to soak up the dressing, while being thick enough to stay crunchy. However, you can cut them to whatever thickness or even shape you prefer – there is no wrong way! Other popular shapes I’ve seen are:
        • half moons
        • thick round slices
        • 2″ thin diagonal slices

Salt Your Cucumbers and Drain the Excess Water

    • Salting the cucumbers will draw out excess moisture from the cucumbers, which helps keep them crisp in the final salad. Make sure to let the salted cucumbers rest for 10 minutes to really draw out the moisture.
    • PLEASE drain the excess water from the salted cucumbers – this will help the cucumber salad doesn’t become watery and soggy! The salt acts as an agent to draw out excess water from the cucumber as well as keep them crisp in the salad. Do not skip this step!

STORAGE

Store your Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Please note that as they continue to sit, the cucumbers will lose water. This can lead to excess liquid, sometimes dilution of the flavors, and the cucumbers become softer. I like to eat my Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) within the first 1-2 days, as I prefer my cucumbers on the crunchier side. You may not mind this (my wife likes them softer, with the flavors more melded together.)

Nutrition

Calories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1395mgPotassium: 229mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 438IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: Korean

Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

10 Min Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) (VIDEO) - CJ Eats Recipes (11)

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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