Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad)

An easy Korean cucumber side dish that’s spicy, slightly sweet and tangy! It’ll be an excellent complement to any of your main dishes.
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One of the greatest joys of summer is the abundance of fresh vegetables. Among them are locally grown Korean cucumbers that are bountiful in Korean markets here in Northern Virginia. This year, I adopted a few small plants from my father, who is an avid gardener, to grow them in containers on my balcony. 
Korean cucumbers are light in color, slender, and bumpy with thin skin. They are less seedy, very crispy and tasty. I might be a little biased, but I think they are the best of all cucumber varieties.
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Using a cucumber I picked from my container garden, I made this very simple but popular Korean side dish called oi muchim (oi means cucumber, and muchim means mixed with seasonings).
If Korean cucumbers are not available, use pickling cucumbers (aka kirby), Persian, English or Japanese cucumbers instead. 
To make oi muchim, you’ll need to lightly salt the cucumber slices first and let them stand for a while to draw out water. This process gives it an extra crunch. 
This Korean cucumber side dish will be an excellent complement to any of your main dishes!
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Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad)

4.38 from 124 votes
Side Dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


  • 1 Korean cucumber or 2 Kirby pickling cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Korean red chili pepper flakes gochugaru (고추가루) – use less if desired
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • Thinly slice the cucumber (1/8 to 1/4-inch thick). Toss gently with salt and set aside for about 15 minutes.
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  • Drain excess liquid. Avoid squeezing them because they will bruise. Mix well with all of the remaining ingredients.
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