Oi Muchim, which translates to Korean Cucumber Salad is one of the most popular side dishes served in Korean restaurant. This recipe will show you how to transform your basic mini cukes into the tastiest Korean side dish in matter of minutes!! You will love these sweet, savory, crunchy and refreshing Oi Muchim!
Oi means cucumber and muchim means seasoned and marinated with hands. I think every Korean household has their own Oi Muchim recipe, so none of them will taste the same! Some people like it with certain types of cucumbers. some will make it super spicy and some will mix in various ingredients.
Oi muchim vs oi kimchi:
Oi Muchim is an easy and tasty side dish that is very popular during the warmer months! Koreans love to make this with cucumbers and will call it Oi Muchim more so than Oi Kimchi. This dish can fit into the kimchi category; however, it doesn’t require fermentation and can be consumed on the same day.
Does using mini cukes make a big difference?
This recipe was made specifically for mini cukes. I wasn’t able to get to the Asian market in time, and this was all that I could find. Mini cukes are visibly short and slender and has a higher water content compared to other cucumbers. They have thin skin and and has a softer bite to it. They were a little challenging, but I think I made it work! At the end, I really enjoyed my mini cuke Oi Muchim salad. They were spicy, sweet and very hydrating! I literally gobbled it down!
Pro tips in making mini cuke oi muchim:
- Letting the salt sit longer in the cucumbers will NOT make the cukes more crunchy. It may actually draw too much moisture making the cucumber too soft to handle.
- Be gentle when squeezing the cukes. They are quite delicate and can damage easily.
- Don’t slice the cukes too thinly. Try slicing them in longer length to create a fun effect!
- Add in more salt as needed after tasting it. I wouldn’t normally do this to other types of cucumbers, but for cukes, I had to add back in more salt at the end.
- Consume immediately like a salad. Otherwise, excess moisture will build up.
What type of cucumber is used to make oi muchim?
I used mini cukes for mine, but you can use any of these cucumbers listed below for your oi muchim. Again, the salting process may vary.
- Korean cucumbers (they are long like English cucumbers but slender. The flesh color is lighter green shade.
- Persian cucumbers
- Japanese cucumbers
- Kirby cucumbers
- Pickling cucumbers
How do you make Korean cucumber salad?
- Wash and dry the cucumbers. Then slice the cucumbers into 1/4″ thickness. (I created longer slices to make it fun.)
- Place the sliced cucumbers into a small bowl then sprinkle sea salt. Toss gently with your hand and let it sit for 10mins.
- Meanwhile, mince garlic cloves and prepare the seasonings.
- After 10mins, squeeze excess water gently with hand. Cukes are very delicate so be sure not to press too hard.
- Combine cucumber slices, Korean chili flakes, minced garlic, maesil and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Use a glove and gently message the seasoning into the cucumber until well distributed.
- Taste Oi Muchim. Can add some sea salt here if needed.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!
What are the ingredients for the spicy sauce?
I really simplified mine to the bare minimal, so here is the simple list.
- gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- Maesil (plum syrup) These comes in a bottle, premade. You can buy this at asian grocery stores.
(You can substitute the sweetener, just be mindful that cukes are already watery. Hence, I added sugar in mine.)
Other suggested ingredients you can add into oi muchim seasoning sauce:
Again, these are suggested ingredients. You can play around with the ratios to find what you like the best.
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- white vinegar
- fish sauce (very little will go a long way)
What other ingredients can I add to the cucumber salad?
You can create variations by adding ingredients such as:
- shredded carrots
- sliced onions
- chopped green onions
- Korean chili peppers
Did you enjoy this Korean cucumber side dish?
I literally ate all of mine in one sitting without pairing with anything!! It was so tasty! This is definitely a perfect Korean banchan (side dish) to make on a hot summer day! They are colorful, easy to make and quite delightful!
Next time you have some mini cucumbers handy, try making this delicious recipe! You will love it!
Try my other refreshing Korean side dish recipes:
- THE BEST WATERMELON RIND KIMCHI
- PICKLED KOREAN PEPPERS, GOCHU JANGAJJI
- SPICY PICKLED GARLIC SCAPES/STEMS
- KOREAN CUCUMBER AND CRAB STICK SALAD
Easy Korean Cucumber Salad (oi muchim) with Mini Cukes
- 1 pack mini cukes (about 6) 14 oz
- 1½ tsp sea salt
spicy sauce ingredients
- 1 Tbsp gochugaru/red chili pepper flake
- ½ Tbsp maesil (plum syrup)
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 pinch roasted sesame seeds
- ½ Tbsp minced garlic
- Wash and dry the cucumbers. Then slice the cucumbers into 1/4" thickness.
- Place sliced cucumbers into a small bowl then sprinkle sea salt. Toss gently with your hand and let it sit for 10mins. Meanwhile, mince garlic cloves and prepare the seasonings.
- After 10mins, squeeze excess water gently with hand. Set them aside.
- Combine cucumber slices, korean chili flakes, minced garlic, maesil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a glove and gently message the seasoning into the cucumber.
- Taste Oi Muchim. Salt to taste. Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!