Spicy cucumber side dish

Oi-muchim 오이무침

I’m going to share a super simple recipe with you today that’s one of my all time favorites. It’s a spicy Korean cucumber side dish called oi-muchim. If you have a nice seedless English cucumber, you can make this delicious banchan in just a few minutes. During my round the world Gapshida trip to meet my readers in 2011, I made this dish almost everywhere I went. Everybody loved it. Who wouldn’t like cold, fresh, crispy, seasoned cucumber? Each bite is succulent and wonderful!

Oi means “cucumber” in English, and muchim means “mixed” or “seasoned,” so many people simply call this dish “seasoned cucumber”.  Many Koreans have their own version of it, so you’ll find many variations from family to family. This one is mine, and I’ve been using it for a long time. It’s also one of the dishes in my cookbook.


A major tip for this recipe is to make it and mix it just before serving, which will keep it crisp and fresh and prevent it from getting watery. It’s perfectly for a summertime BBQ – refreshing and just spicy enough to give you a little kick!

Enjoy the recipe! Let me know if you make it!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 English cucumber (or 2 to 3 kirby cucumbers), washed
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)



  1. Cut the cucumber lengthwise in half and cut diagonally into thin slices.slice cucumbers
  2. Put the cucumber into a large bowl. Add the onion, green onion, garlic, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and sugar.Spicy Korean cucumber salad (oimuchim: 오이무침)
  3. Mix it well with a spoon until the sugar is well dissolved.Spicy Korean cucumber salad (oimuchim: 오이무침)
  4. Serve as a side dish for rice, noodles, or BBQ.




  1. duday76 USA My profile page joined 12/16
    Posted January 12th, 2017 at 8:08 am | # |

    Thank you maangchi! Love the combination of the taste in this simple dish. Will definitely put this in my table frequently.

    See full size image

  2. Omsin Salamanca, Spain My profile page joined 7/16
    Posted October 22nd, 2016 at 10:22 am | # |

    I bought some baby cucumbers yesterday and decided to try this dish (since with normal Spanish cucumber it would be impossible). I love it! Simple, aromatic and refreshing. Thanks again for the recipe. ^_^

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    • Spiaggian Singapore My profile page joined 11/16
      Posted November 12th, 2016 at 11:56 pm | # |

      Hi Maangchi,

      I had a lot of Korean ingredients handy so I decided to make Oi-muchim for my family of 4 with your recipe. Needless to say, the whole thing was devoured within 10 minutes!

      Love the refreshing taste of cucumbers with the mix of ingredients and a spicy kick of gochugaru!

      See full size image

  3. jaylivg Houston My profile page I'm a fan! joined 7/10
    Posted June 30th, 2016 at 2:01 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi !!

    Made this fresh spicy cucumber for lunch along with spicy pan fried tofu . But .. OMG .. the cucumber are so yummy , delicious , i can snack on this all day ! I might not have the roasted sesame seed right now , but the flavor was superb !! :D

  4. twinmama14 My profile page joined 9/15
    Posted September 9th, 2015 at 3:00 pm | # |

    We can’t get English cucumbers in Nicaragua :(
    If I used a regular cucumber, should I remove the seeds?
    Assuming the dressing would be delicious no matter what type of cucumber!

  5. Ch706 My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 22nd, 2015 at 1:55 pm | # |

    We found this recipe from a YouTube notification and tried it last night. It tasted good, but we added 2 teaspoon of lime juice. It helped to balance the heat from the pepper flakes. Thanks for the recipe, we are fairly new to the Korean flavors. Hope to add many more recipes to the family favorites.

  6. tansook My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 19th, 2015 at 7:59 am | # |

    Hi, how long can I keep the spicy cucumber in my refrigerator ? Thanks

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2015 at 10:37 am | # |

      You can keep it in the fridge up to 2-3 days. It won’t go bad but lots of liquid from the cucumber will be drawn out. Best thing is to make the amount you can finish in one sitting.

  7. cdnsongbird British Columbia My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted June 8th, 2015 at 7:42 pm | # |

    My host mom in Seoul fed me this every day. So excited to find it here!

  8. aTrueRedHead Germany My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted June 6th, 2015 at 2:16 am | # |

    I made this yesterday and love it. It is fast in preparation and delicious in taste.

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 21st, 2015 at 12:44 am | # |

      It looks juicy and crispy! You make it almost non-spicy version. Yummy!

      • aTrueRedHead Germany My profile page joined 8/14
        Posted June 23rd, 2015 at 2:31 am | # |

        Yes, it was very juicy and crispy. This was the portion for a friend who does not like spicy but I added hot pepper flakes to mine. I really loved it.

        • Oxide California My profile page joined 2/15
          Posted July 20th, 2015 at 3:02 am | # |

          Hi Ginger,
          If the ‘hot’ of the spice is an issue I recommend using 1/2 of the spicy pepper powder Maagnchi recommends. Do not eliminate it altogether! I found most people are ok with that reduced level, 1/2 the amount of spiciness with some of Maangchi’s recipes. I do make a lot of her recipes. Maangchi’s recipes are wonderful as they are but sometimes the spiciness can be a challenge for some Western folks that do not normally eat spicy foods – and a total challenge for Japanese people that consider mayonnaise a spicy food. (MAAGNCHI, DO NOT CHANGE THE SPICINESS!) Please note: hot peppers bring far, far more to the flavor profile to a dish than just “hot”. The peppers themselves have a wonderful and unique base flavor that adds to the dish that would be otherwise missed, dimensioned.

  9. Dee_ My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 24th, 2015 at 5:38 pm | # |

    This is my favorite side dish and I love that you posted a recipe for it. Thank you!

  10. momnamedjules RSM, California My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted May 10th, 2015 at 8:02 pm | # |

    Maangchi, LOVE this dish. I couldn’t stop eating it while still in the mixing bowl!! I added shredded carrots I had from another dish, and used a left over red onion instead of a white. We’re having it tonight for Mother’s Day dinner with my parents. Thank you again for this delicious dish! Happy Mother’s Day, Maangchi!

  11. hyunee My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 4th, 2015 at 7:34 am | # |

    Can I replace hot pepper flakes with hot pepper paste? cause i don’t have it :(

  12. acari My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 4th, 2015 at 5:57 am | # |

    I’m from the Philippines. We are just in Korea for 2 months. I saw it best to cook Korean food which I haven’t cooked before (except for the marinated minced beef in bibimbap). It is obviously practical.

    Your recipes have been my guide. It is so helpful. We get the to eat yummy and healthy Korean food.

    Your ingredients guide helped me get the ingredients I need here as I don’t understand Korean.

    Thank you!

    By the way, this spicy cucumber side dish is really yummy!!

  13. Tosin_Oc London, UK My profile page I'm a fan! joined 3/15
    Posted May 3rd, 2015 at 3:21 pm | # |

    This looks fantastic as usual Maangchi! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if you could do an updated Bibimbap recipe video. It’s such an iconic Korean dish, I know you’ll make it the traditional way and it’ll taste sensational. I’m particularly interested in Dolsot Bibimbap! Thanks so much Maangchi! :D

  14. knitkitsune United States My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted May 1st, 2015 at 8:00 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi!

    I made this tonight to go with some doenjang jigae and it was delicious! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

  15. TaeguChadd New Jersey My profile page joined 2/11
    Posted May 1st, 2015 at 5:14 pm | # |

    I made it as is – no soaking or pre-prep. Just washed, chopped cucumbers and added seasoning and tossed – OMG SOOOOOOOOO delish and even people who don’t usually like spicy food ate their fingers!! Delicious!! Thanks Maangchi!!

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  16. kimchiaddict My profile page joined 4/15
    Posted May 1st, 2015 at 12:02 am | # |

    hi pp_123 maybe soak 3 to 6 mn in içy 15/20% seasalt solution, test for softening, rinse quickly, and dry it flat on towels without pressing. might retain a good bit of crunch and rigidity. but the secret is given by Maanchi: mix the paste separately ahead if need be, but mix it with the cuke only when you are ready to serve it immediately.

  17. pp_123 Hong Kong My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted April 30th, 2015 at 4:47 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi~
    Do I need to add a little salt to the cucumber and let it sit for some time so as to get rid of the water inside? I always do that when I make dishes with raw cucumbers.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 3rd, 2015 at 8:51 pm | # |

      That’s another version of oimuchim. This recipe is like a salad as I described in the recipe.

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