Korean Quick Cucumber Pickles (Oi Muchim)

If you frequent Korean restaurants, you've probably had oi muchim as one of your banchans. It's popular during the summer and it is a spicy and refreshing side dish that goes well with grilled meats or bone broths.

By the way this banchan is not a cucumber kimchi, as it is not fermented. It is more like a spicy cucumber salad with a bit of pickling action going on. 

Cutting up fresh cukes and immediately tossing them up in seasoning will taste great at first, but will eventually produce a lot of water from the cucumbers. This will dilute out flavor of your seasoning and make for soggy/bland cucumbers. What we want to see is a crunchy cucumber with a generous coating of spicy-yummy seasoning all up on each bite!


10 Persian cucumbers

1 small carrot, sliced into matchsticks

1/2 and onion

3 scallions

3 cloves of minced garlic

2 tsp of kosher salt

3 tsp sugar (no brown sugar please)

2 tbl gochugaru

1 tbl gochujang

1 tbl eck jut (anchovy sauce or fish sauce)

2 tbs rice wine vinegar

Wash and dry cucumbers with a paper towel. Cut them into rounds, about 1/2 inch thick. Place cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with all of the salt and 1 tsp of the sugar. Set aside for 45 minutes to drain excess water.

In the meantime, cut carrot into very small matchsticks or grate with a box grater (grate on the side with the bigger holes). Slice onion into similar size of the carrots. Slice scallions into 1/2 inch  slices, I like to slice them at a diagonal angle.

Place cucumbers on a paper towel and dry off excess water. Then transfer into a mixing bowl and toss together with the rest of the vegetables. Add remaining seasonings.

The best way to incorporate everything is by hand. I use a plastic glove and rinse off after use to recycle. If you don't want to do this by hand, please use a soft silicone spatula in a folding motion. A hard wooden spoon is too abrasive and may bruise up the veggies. 

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and eat right away!