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Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

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Dive into the tantalizing world of Korean cuisine with this refreshing Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim), a perfect side dish for any meal.

Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

Until I came across this recipe, I hadn’t tasted a lot of Korean food. I’m much more familiar with K-pop than Korean cucumbers. I can thank my kids for their obsession with Korean music, after they tried this recipe, they thanked me for the perfect food to eat while jamming.

Korean Cucumber Salad is also known as Oi Muchim (Oi means “cucumber” and Muchim means “to season”). You’ll be blown away by how this simple and cool dish can burst with flavor – it’s the trifecta of sweet, sour, and just the right amount of spicy.

This dish has some similarities to a Cucumber and Onion Salad or Japanese Sunomono, but the Oi Muchim brings a special zing, courtesy of the Korean red pepper flakes.

Why You Will Love This Recipe //

This recipe is super easy to make: you only need about 15 minutes or so. Another bonus: it’s a great recipient for all of those cucumbers that your neighbor shared from her garden. (Cucumbers and zucchini must yield the biggest bounties per square foot than any other vegetable!)

Oi Muchim is also super flexible. You can pair this dish with BBQ (Korean or American) or stir fry—or eat it on its own as a tasty snack.

Ingredients //

Korean red pepper flakes have a unique flavor and give this dish its kick. Regular chili flakes aren’t a good substitute. You might be able to find them at the larger chain stores; if not, specialty grocery stores are sure to have some.

  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • ¼ cup Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 sprigs of Spring onion
Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

How to Make // The Steps

Step 1: In a small bowl, add the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Korean red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. Mix well to combine, then set aside.

Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

Step 2: Slice up the cucumber and spring onions.

Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

Step 3: Place the veggies into the bowl with the sauce and toss together.

Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

Tips & Tricks to Make a Perfect Korean Cucumber Salad

  • The cucumber is the key to this dish. Use English or Persian cucumbers. They have thin skins and fewer seeds. Avoid waxed cucumbers.
  • To draw out excess water and make your cucumbers extra crunchy, salt the slices and let them sit for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry before adding to the salad.
  • To enhance the nutty flavor, lightly toast your sesame seeds before adding them to the dressing.
Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)


Korean food is sometimes too spicy for me. Can I turn down the spice level?

The Korean red pepper flakes are a hallmark of this dish. But you can turn up or down the heat. Start with a smaller amount of flakes and add more to taste.

Can I jazz up this recipe?

Add some extra color and crunch with thin radish slices or red onions. Or up the protein game with tofu or chopped boiled eggs.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

This salad can be made ahead, but it tastes best when it’s served within a couple of hours of preparation. In a pinch though, it can keep for up to two days in the refrigerator.

Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

How to Serve //

The Korean Cucumber Salad is a perfect companion for all kinds of entrees. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats such as Braised Beef Short Ribs, or you can add a spoonful to your Korean Beef Tacos for extra crunch and tangy flavor. For a plant-based option, combine the salad with a bowl of steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables.

How to Store //

Cucumbers can be a little finicky and start to get soggy if left out for too long. The best bet is to make this shortly before your meal. But you can prepare it a few hours ahead of time and store it in the fridge.

Place any leftovers in a sealed container and keep it in the refrigerator. If needed, drain out any extra liquid before eating serving the salad again.

Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
Korean cucumber salad from above

Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • ¼ cup Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 Sprigs of spring onion


  • Start by mixing your sauce in a bowl. Add the honey, soy sauce d rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds into the bowl and mix well to combine. 
  • Slice up the cucumber and spring onions
  • Pop the veggies into the bowl with the sauce and toss together.
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