This Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad is a typical banchan, or a small Korean side dish served alongside the main course and hot rice in a traditional Korean meal. The Koreans have a great word for it: oi muchim. It’s refreshing and spicy all at once, and it’s amazing. Serve as an easy appetizer or with your favorite Korean dishes!
One of our favorite parts of eating at a Korean restaurant is sampling the banchan, the assortment of free appetizers served with your meal.
A wider range of options is always welcome. Whenever I’m starving, a Korean restaurant is one of my go-to options because of this eating style. Minutes after being seated, at least eight different exciting appetizers will appear on your table, and when you inevitably finish them, more will appear.
Oi muchim literally translates to “cucumber blended with seasonings.” It has a flavor profile evokes a cross between kimchi and a spicy, sweet, acidic, and seafood-y dish. However, it may be made in a matter of minutes and does not involve any fermentation.
Salting the cucumber before mixing it with other ingredients helped remove some excess moisture. We added fish sauce and rice vinegar to the seasoning blend for extra depth and acidity. We really hope you enjoy our take on it.
- 14 ounces of seedless cucumber
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 scallion (chopped)
- 1 small carrot (thinly sliced and julienned)
- 1/4 cup of thinly sliced or roughly chopped onion (white or yellow onion)
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons of gochugaru
- 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar
- Separate the cucumber into two halves, lengthwise, and cut each half in half again. To produce roughly triangular pieces, cut the cucumber on a diagonal and rotate the slices as you cut.
- Sprinkle in some salt and let the cucumber and onion sit for 20 minutes to let some of their excess water evaporate.
- In a large bowl, combine scallion, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru, sesame seeds, sesame oil, sugar, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. All ingredients should be thoroughly combined.
- Toss the carrots and onions into the seasoning blend after draining the cucumber and onion. Roll and dish out.