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 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!