Stir-fried Cucumbers (Oi Bokkeum)

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This stir-fried cucumber side dish is quick and easy to make. We call it oi bokkeum (오이볶음). Oi is cucumber, and bokkeum means stir-fried. We prepare cucumbers in many different ways. Some are prepared raw, salted, and/or seasoned either mildly or spicy for Korean side dishes. In my bibimbap recipe, you can find a mildly seasoned cucumber side dish, and spicy oi muchim is always very popular.

I know stir-frying cucumbers may sound a little strange to some of you, but it’s commonly done in Korean cooking. Stir-frying brings out the sweetness of the cucumbers, and it’s quite delicious! It will be a nice addition to your Korean side dish repertoire. 

Any thin-skinned, crunchy variety of cucumbers are good for this dish. Of course, Korean cucumbers are perfect for this dish. Persian cucumbers seem to be always available around here. They are crunchy, sweet, and have delicately thin skin. English cucumbers, which are usually sold wrapped in plastic, are also great for this dish. 

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You need to lightly salt the cucumbers first to draw out water, and then tightly squeeze out the water content. This process keeps the cucumbers crunchy even after being stir-fried.

The key is to stir fry quickly and not to overcook the cucumbers, so the cucumbers maintain the nice green color as well as the crunchy texture.

This is vegan! However, you can always add some ground (or thin strips) beef, pork, chicken, etc. Simply, season separately and cook the meat through first before adding the cucumbers to the pan. 

More cucumber recipes 

Oi muchim (spicy cucumber side dish)
Oi kimchi (cucumber kimchi)
Oi sobagi (stuffed cucumber kimchi)
Oiji (Korean pickled cucumbers)
Oi naengguk (chilled cucumber soup)
Jangajji (Vegetable pickles)

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Have you tried this stir-fried cucumber recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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Stir-fried Cucumbers (Oi Bokkeum)

3.75 from 39 votes
Side Dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
10 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cucumbers (about 4 to 5 short varieties such as Kirby or Persian or 1 English cucumber)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 scallion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (preferably crushed)

Instructions

  • Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, and then thinly slice crosswise slightly diagonally. If the cucumbers are thin, you can simply cut into thin rounds.
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  • Toss the cucumber slices with one and a half teaspoons of salt to coat evenly. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
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  • Tightly squeeze out the water content from the salted cucumber slices. Don’t worry about bruising them. They will recover when stir-fried.
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  • Heat a pan over high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Quickly stir in the garlic. Add the cucumbers. Stir-fry for a minute until the cucumbers are slightly cooked. Do not overcook. Turn off the heat. Toss well with the scallion, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were delicious and easy to make. We have a ton of cucumbers to use up from our garden. I’ll definitely be making this one again!

  2. This sounds delicious. I never tried “cooking” the cucumber before. Thanks for the receipe!

  3. Thank you for this recipe! I want to try this! I’m wondering if I can make this ahead. Can this be served cold (after being stored in refrigerator) or should it always be served hot?

    • Jonathan Bryans says

      I’ve just made this…..so good and tasty….its is good hot as well as cold….i did not have the perpila seeds , so I lightly crushed some sesame seed and added it. I am looking forward to my lunch box which will contain this recipe and stir fried asian long beans……yummm!!

  4. Stir fried cucumber(?), sounds great,
    I’ll cook today..

  5. This is delicious! It’s the only way I can get my daughter to eat cucumbers. How long can I keep this in the fridge? Will it lose its crunch if eaten the next day after making?

    • Hi Julie – Nice to hear your daughter likes cucumber this way. It will be fine the next day, but this dish is best to eat within a couple of days.

  6. shirley heisey says

    In 1998-2000 I was in ROK, teaching English. My students took me to a very nice restaurant for a meal, a treat I always enjoyed and appreciated) Even though the HOT foods could be a challenge. I always found something I could enjoy. At this very nice restaurant, they served a “dessert” I enjoyed, tried to learn about, and never saw again. What I think I learned from my students, it was a slice of soybean “cake” with a light, airy sponge texture. It was mildly sweet, and very tasty. Do you know what that woulld be? Do you make it? I want to learn about it.