Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

This cucumber kimchi salad is refreshingly sweet, spicy, and tangy! It is the perfect side dish to add a little texture and a whole lot of flavor. 

I make this at least once a week. It is super easy to make and my husband is always asking for it! 

This is my mom’s recipe. It took me a while to be able to make it as good as she does, but I’ve made it so many times now I can do it with my eyes closed. This stuff is seriously good. It’s so good that my mom has been selling it to her coworkers for the last 10 years! 

As with any other Korean side dish, every household makes their oi muchim a little different. What makes this recipe the best is the ratio of ingredients. The ingredient list is pretty standard for oi muchim, but it’s the amount of each ingredient that really makes a difference. 

Ingredients:

Veggies- 

  • Cucumber- Persian or Japanese cucumbers are best

  • Carrot- optional, I always add them to make this more nutritious

  • Onion & green onion- also optional

Seasoning sauce-

  • Salt- use coarse sea salt, not table salt. This is technically not going into the seasoning sauce- it will be sprinkled over the veggies to draw out water and impart flavor 

  • Gochugaru- Korean red pepper flakes, this has no substitute so if you use something else, it won’t taste the same.

  • Sesame oil- Make sure you use toasted sesame oil. I use Kadoya 100% pure sesame oil.

  • Plum vinegar- you can find this at any Korean supermarket. If there isn’t one near you, you can use rice or white vinegar instead. I tried finding a link on Amazon for you but they are ridiculously overpriced.

  • Sugar- you need more sugar than you think. This is what makes this recipe so good, and don’t worry about it being “too sweet.” The sugar is needed to balance the salt, acid, and spice. Trust me on this!

  • Garlic- do not add more than the recipe calls for!

  • Toasted sesame seeds- also called “roasted” sesame seeds.

  • Serrano pepper- if you want to make this extra spicy, you can add a serrano pepper either finely minced or thinly sliced.

What types of cucumber to use

I use Persian cucumbers because they are always available where I shop, and they have almost no seeds which I prefer. If you can’t find Persian cucumbers or want to try something else, I recommend these:

  • Japanese cucumber- the sweetest of all the cucumbers. Highly recommend trying this one if it is available near you.

  • English cucumber- sweet with small seeds, usually wrapped in plastic and available at most American supermarkets.

  • Pickling (Kirby) cucumber- the ugliest cucumber in my opinion, but it is extra crunchy and mild in flavor.

How to make it

  • Wash your veggies first! You can cut the cucumbers and carrots into whatever shape you want, it doesn’t really matter.

    How thin/thick you slice them is a matter of preference. I prefer more on the thicker side, but my husband prefers them thin like I have cut them here. The thinner you cut them, the more flavor they will absorb. It will still be crunchy because of the salting process.

  • After cutting your cucumbers, carrots, and onions, toss with coarse salt in a bowl and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Do not use table salt. The salting process draws out water from the veggies, making them crunchy and last longer. It also seasons them, which is why salt/fish sauce/soy sauce are not needed in the seasoning sauce. 

  • You will need to remove as much water as you can by gently squeezing it out. Don’t squeeze too hard- you don’t want to bruise the cucumbers. I find that using a salad spinner is the best method for this because you don’t waste any paper towels, and there is minimal bruising on the cucumbers. It works really well. 

  • Then add all the seasoning ingredients and mix well. That’s it! 

Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad)

5 from 47 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Korean

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Persian cucumbers (about 5) or English, Japanese, Kirby cucumber
  • 2 oz carrot
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 tsp salt

Spicy Seasoning Sauce

  • 2 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp plum vinegar or rice or white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 serrano pepper finely minced or sliced, optional

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and cut the cucumbers, carrots, and onion. The shape and thickness do not matter that much- it depends on your preference.
  • Add salt and toss to coat evenly. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • After 10-15 minutes, there will be a pool of water drawn out from the veggies. Pour it out and remove as much water as possible from the veggies. You can do this either by gently squeezing it out using paper towels, or using a salad spinner. Careful not to bruise the cucumbers.
  • Add the seasoning sauce ingredients. You can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe if you want, but I highly recommend keeping the original amount to make this extra delicious.
  • Mix until evenly coated and serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

  • There is NO fermenting involved here! This is not really a kimchi, more like a kimchi salad. It will not last that long in the fridge especially with sesame oil. 
Keyword Banchan, Kimchi, Korean

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 47 Comments

  1. @kristina_sessler

    5 stars
    TOPS Korean Cumber Salad recipe!! Thank you for making and sharing your recipes. They have helped me learn to make many dishes that remind my fiancé of home 🥹. This is one of our favorites 🥰

  2. Kimberly.walk

    5 stars
    Loved making this for me and my husband, thank you!

  3. Jane

    5 stars
    I’ve shared this recipe with a number of people because it is that good!! The first recipe of Stella’s that I’ve made but definitely not the last ☺️

    Thanks,

  4. Victoria

    5 stars
    This is a household favorite recipe at this point! My go to side dish for any meat and rice meal! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  5. Chelsea

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! It’s my favorite go-to late night snack, or my packed lunch side! Also made your Korean pancake and my 1 y/o and I loved it but couldn’t find the recipe online.

  6. @sunnyphotorawrz

    5 stars
    Thank you so much Stella!! There is no place close by that sells this! I constantly crave it & thanks to you I can now make it whenever. Bringing it to all the Carne Asadas!

  7. Grace Park

    5 stars
    My absolute favorite recipe for Oi Muchim!! I need to follow recipes to cook and this one was mine and my husbands favorite after trying a few different ones. I double or triple the recipe bc we eat in within three days 😅

  8. Kyle Eddens

    5 stars
    LOVE! Cucumber makes everything taste fresh and delicious. Fun one to make for friends too.

  9. Anonymous

    5 stars
    This side dish has easily become a favorite in my household! It’s so easy to prepare and packed with so much flavor— we love to have this with a side of soy sesame beef or grilled meat! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Stella!

  10. Sharon

    5 stars
    So simple and tasty! Easy crowd pleaser for sure! Thanks Stella!

  11. maryanne.tg

    5 stars
    As a Mexican American that was recently introduced to Korean food and fell in love, I’ve been trying to introduce the rest of my family to it and I knew this was the right recipe to follow from the moment that Stella stated (in one of her ig videos) that this recipe is The Best and “That’s a fact, not an opinion”… she was right.

  12. K_destanie

    5 stars
    Super easy and yummy. Thanks for the recipe!!

  13. Alyssa Kawasaki

    5 stars
    SUPER easy and delicious recipe!! Followed it to a T and it came out perfect.

  14. Amy

    5 stars
    One of my favorite banchan. It goes with everything. I like mine a little thicker so it’s nice and crunchy. Perfectly balanced!

  15. Vivian B

    5 stars
    This is one of the few dishes I would make when having kbbq at home. Extremely quick and easy recipe to follow! I do like to make sure I use Persian cucumbers for this dish. When I have extra time, I would make flowers out of the carrots! 🙂

    Thank you,
    Vivian

    1. Gina

      5 stars
      Honestly the best 오이 무침 recipe I’ve tried! Puts all others to shame😋

  16. Jen

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. I make it every week.

  17. Denise Kwong

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I make this on the regular!

  18. Stephanie

    5 stars
    So yummy and great for KBBQ at home nights.

  19. fernaandaa.16

    5 stars
    Ever since I made this recipe I cannot go back. These are just that good. i really like making them to just eat on there own or asa side dish. Either way they are really good!

  20. Luna

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times. So easy and tastes great

  21. Sheryl

    5 stars
    This is my favorite banchan of all time and I make it all the time! Thanks for sharing your recipe

  22. Susana

    5 stars
    This is my go to cucumber salad recipe. Super easy to follow and delicious!!

  23. @yi_ij

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! Spicier than how my mom makes, but it’s perfect for me. I’ve been making this almost every week now.

  24. MJ Mendoza

    5 stars
    My Wife and I love this recipe. It’s so refreshing, just enough spice and tang. We even decided to add some daikon cut in sticks. So good! This has been a must have in our house every week! Love it! Thank you for sharing.

  25. Carrie Favis

    5 stars
    Love this cucumber salad Recipe! It is SO good! Every time I make it, it reminds me of Korea. 😊 Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. 🩵

  26. Sarah Jarvis

    5 stars
    I didn’t grow up making this version of oi muchim but I do now!!!!! Xoxoxo

  27. Alina Salgado

    5 stars
    This is seriously one of the best recipes out there! Thanks for bringing this tasty side dish into my life ♥️

  28. Alina Pham

    5 stars
    I’ve tried so many different recipes for this korean cucumber salad but this is by far the best! It’s my go to side dish for whenever we have kbbq at home now! Thanks for the recipe!!

  29. Enie Chae

    5 stars
    I have tried SO many “spicy cucumber salad” recipes but none of them came close to oi muchim as yours. I love some of your other recipes too, but this is the one of yours I make most often, and get asked for the recipe (I forward a link to this page to them). Thank you!!

  30. Rachel

    5 stars
    Best cucumber salad. The first time I made it I made second batch immediately after first taste. Now only make double batches and it only lasts a few days in the fridge before it’s all eaten. Thanks for a tasty recipe!

  31. Phillip Lim

    5 stars
    Such a simple banchan but goes well with everything! This recipe is perfect, I refuse to change anything about it.

    Thanks Stella!

  32. Sunnee

    5 stars
    This is one of the most easiest and authentic Oi Muchim recipe! The flavor is so close to what my mom used to make when she lived with me. I’ve made this for my friends and they love it each time I make it. Thank you for sharing this recipe and spreading the Korean culture for others to enjoy!

  33. Bianca Garcia

    5 stars
    I make this recipe all of the time and it is perfect every time. My absolute favorite and so easy to make.

  34. Tobie

    5 stars
    This was the first of many stellanspice recipes that I’ve made and loved!! This cucumber banchan is one of our favorites and this recipe is the best I’ve found for it yet. It’s perfectly balanced and my family is always asking for it. Thank you Stella!

  35. Margarita Giraldo

    5 stars
    We are a Colombian family and we always have to have this in our fridge is good with everything even with simple just steam rice 🤤🤤

  36. Amy Aguirre

    5 stars
    This is the best recipe! I make it at least once or twice a week. A family favorite. My 6 and 2 year old boys LOVE it! Thank you for sharing.

  37. Jk4ey

    5 stars
    So good and refreshing! My husband loves it and I have friends asking how I made it.

  38. Jk4ey

    5 stars
    Such a good recipe! My husband loves it and I have friends asking how I made it. Very refreshing and the best to eat in the summer!

  39. Jasmine Johnson

    5 stars
    So good! Made it once for my family and now it’s requested all the time.

  40. Tina

    5 stars
    This is my go to recipe for cucumbers! I never buy cucumbers but I do for this recipe specifically when the craving hits! So easy to make and so delicious. Friends/family always ask how I make it and I direct them to your IG 💕

  41. Lisa

    5 stars
    One of my favourite things to make! So simple and delicious. It is often my go-to when hosting kbbq at mine and everyone loves it! It’s always the first to go before the meat!!

  42. racoonankels

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this Oi Muchim all the time whenever I eat korean bbq! It tastes so refreshing and reminds me of the ones I get at the restaurants.

  43. Lynn

    5 stars
    So yummy! I have a craving specifically for this all the time now. The ratio of sauce ingredients is perfect 🙂

  44. Vanessa

    5 stars
    This recipe is sooo good, it’s my go-to now.
    Love it as is but I like to add a few drops of fish sauce.

  45. C

    5 stars
    Make this at least once a week. It’s SO good!

  46. GERALD

    5 stars
    We love this Oi Muchim recipe and make it every chance we can. Thank you so much!

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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