Korean cucumber salad is an easy vegetable side dish packed with a punch. Sweet, sour, spicy and crunchy, it’s a perfect salad to please everyone.
You may know this cucumber salad as “oi muchim” from Korean restaurants. As an appetizer or side dish, it goes so well with meat and BBQ. I served it on the side of my honey teriyaki salmon last week and I was obsessed with the combination. Watch the video below for how easy it is to make the Korean cucumber salad.
What Kind of Cucumbers Should I Use?
I highly recommend using mini cucumbers, also called Persian cucumbers. They are smaller in diameter and crispier. Please don’t mix them up with the bite-sized cucumbers sold as snackers at the grocery stores. The mini (Persian) cucumbers are averaging 90 grams a piece. I used 6 of them as you can see in the video and the recipe below.
Do I have to Use Gochugaru in Korean Cucumber Salad?
I highly recommend using gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder). It has a milder spice level compared to the common cayenne pepper powder. You can use quite a bit of gochugaru in a dish to give it a vibrant red colour without the dish becoming unbearably hot. If you must substitute the gochugaru, be sure to reduce the amount to your taste.
Salting the Cucumbers
You will need to add salt to the cucumbers and let them rest for at least 30 minutes. Using this technique, you will draw out the moisture from the cucumbers while adding flavour to them. You will then discard the cucumber juice. This is an important step to prevent the cucumber salad from becoming too watery.
Storing Korean Cucumber Salad
I like to prepare a big batch to serve some immediately, and keep the rest in the fridge as a quick vegetable side for later. The flavour gets more intense after marinating overnight. Store the salad in an airtight container, and it can last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Related: More Delicious Salads You Will Love
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- Cucumber Wakame Salad
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- Purple Cabbage & Jicama Slaw
- Ginger Orange Pickled Daikon + Immune Shot (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)
- Tahini Lime Dressing + Sprouted Salad
- Instant Pot Russian Vinaigrette Salad (Vegan, Paleo, Probiotic)
Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
- 6 mini cucumbers or Persian cucumbers approx. 540 grams per 6 cucumbers
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion thinly sliced
- 2 stalks green onion thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds
- Remove the ends of the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Put the cucumbers into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, then toss to combine. Let the cucumbers sit for at least 30 minutes allowing the salt to draw out moisture from the cucumbers.
- Mix garlic, honey, rice vinegar and red pepper powder and sesame oil in a small bowl to make a dressing.
- Drain the cucumbers in a colander and discard the cucumber juice.
- Add cucumbers, yellow onion, green onion, sesame seeds and the dressing in a large bowl. Toss to combine. The cucumber salad is best served cold.