This easy Korean cucumber salad (Oi Muchim) uses just 10 ingredients and is a refreshing, spicy, tangy, slightly sweet Korean cucumber side dish that can be prepared in minutes. A perfect way to enjoy cucumbers year-round!
Slice the cucumber. I do this by first chopping it in half lengthwise then cutting it into pieces around 1/8 inch/3 mm thickness. You can do this by hand or using a mandoline (carefully) for even slices.
Once chopped, transfer the cucumber to a salad bowl.
Step 2: Prepare the dressing
Mince or grate the ginger and garlic (or use ginger and garlic paste).
Add the ginger and garlic to a small bowl along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar, chili powder, and chili paste (optional). Mix well until thoroughly combined.
Step 3: Assemble the Korean cucumber salad
Pour the dressing over the sliced cucumbers, add the chopped green onions and sesame seeds, and toss lightly to combine.You can optionally dry toast the sesame seeds until fragrant and golden for extra flavor.
You can enjoy the seasoned cucumber salad immediately. However, for the best results, allow the cucumbers to marinate for 30 minutes before serving.
How to Store
This cucumber salad will become "soggier" over time, so it’s best enjoyed within 1-2 days, though it should last okay in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, covered tightly. The flavor will also develop more over time.
Salting the cucumber: to avoid a soggy salad and have crunchier cucumber slices, it's a good idea to salt the slices. To do so, add the cucumber to a colander and salt liberally, then leave to drain for 15 minutes, then rinse quickly and pat dry. I recommend doing this more so if you're using cucumber with lots of seeds and if you want to save leftovers.
Adjust the elements: this seasoned cucumber salad is easy to adjust to personal taste. Practically every ingredient is adjustable. I’ve even made a version without garlic and ginger, which also tastes delicious. So, feel free to adjust to your liking.