spicy food in hot weather? I love the refreshing combination of cool cucumbers and hot chile peppers, as in the case of Korean oi muchim. This quick and easy salad makes a great potluck dish, or a fiery alternative to kosher dill or bread and butter pickles alongside sandwiches. And, of course, it's excellent alongside Korean BBQ (meat or tofu).Related: Cool Recipe: Easy Japanese Pickled Cucumber (Images: Emily Ho)
This spicy cucumber salad contains many of the same ingredients as cucumber kimchi but it isn't fermented, so you can eat it right away. I like to use Kirby or pickling cucumbers, which have a firm, crisp texture, thin skin, and small seeds. Korean, Japanese, and Persian cucumbers may also be used. The cucumbers are thinly sliced and coated in a zesty blend of vinegar, sesame, and gochugaru (also known as Korean red pepper powder, which I highly recommend keeping as a pantry staple). It takes seconds to prepare, yet it's big on flavor and refreshment. What more could you want on a hot day?!
Oi Muchim (Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad)
Serves 2 to 42 teaspoons rice vinegar 1-2 teaspoons gochugaru 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 scallion, chopped 2 Kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/8-inch thick Combine all ingredients except cucumbers in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired. Add cucumber slices and toss to coat (wear gloves and use your hands, or use tongs). Serve room temperature or chilled.