Oi-muchim Spicy Cucumber Banchan

Oi-muchim Spicy Cucumber BanchanOi-muchim (오이무침): oi for cucumber and muchim for mixed or tossed, this quick Korean side dish is very common as a snack and of-course a banchan for any meal or special bapsang. (Sometimes it is also written as Oi Saengche (오이생채) from the Chinese influenced Korean writing for live vegetable since it is not ‘dead’/cooked.)

It was interesting to learn that cucumbers are actually a fruit and originally grew in the wilds of southern Asia. No doubt due to the silk road, along with the exchange of spices, the cucumber was very beloved by the Romans, with huge complicated growing houses dedicated to them, in order that they may be able to have cucumbers on the table all year round.

Although Christopher Columbus continued the spread of the cucumber all the way to Haiti, there was a period of European history in which raw vegetables were considered unfit for consumption, as they were thought to bring disease to children. During this late 17th century period and beyond, longer than for most vegetables, the poor cucumber succumb to being mainly cow fodder. Lucky Cows!

Oi-muchim Spicy Cucumber SliceOi-muchim is really easy to make, and very fresh in flavor. If you or others in your family happen to be a people who doesn’t like cabbage this makes a great substitute for kimchi. You also don’t have to wait for it to ferment! (Even shorter than the 6 hour kkakdugi quick ferment radish kimchi!)

Spicy Korean Cucumber Banchan – Oi-muchim

By: semiserious chefs
Serves: 4-6 snacks/banchan


  • 1 1/2 cups sliced cucumber medallions
  • 1 T salt, for soaking
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 T rice vinegar
  • 1/2 T gochugaru
  • 1 t sesame seeds
  • 1-2 t sugar, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced


  1. Slice the cucumber into even medallions, approximately 1/4 thick.
  2. Toss the sliced cumber with the salt and let rest for 20 minutes. This will release the excess water, but it is not required. If you plan to serve your salad right away it isn’t needed, if however, you think the dish will be served at a later time (even 1 hour) it is suggested, so you don’t end up with a soupy mess that slides off your cucumber slices.
  3. After 20 minutes drain the water out of the bowl and rinse the excess salt off of the cucumber slices. Pat them dry.
  4. Add the chopped green onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, and gochugaru in with the cucumbers until evenly coated.
  5. Serve and enjoy! Eat alone, with steamed rice, or as a side dish to a main meal.


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