Recipe: Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad

Recipes from The Kitchn

Do you enjoy eating 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).

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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?!

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Oi Muchim (Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad)

Serves 2 to 4

2 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.

Related: Cool Recipe: Easy Japanese Pickled Cucumber

(Images: Emily Ho)

Per serving, based on 2 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
33
Fat
3 g (4.6%)
Saturated
0.4 g (2.1%)
Carbs
1.4 g (0.5%)
Fiber
0.2 g (0.7%)
Sugars
1.1 g
Protein
0.3 g (0.5%)
Sodium
50.6 mg (2.1%)