Recipes

Cucumber pickles

Oijangajji 오이장아찌

I’m introducing Korean style salty cucumber pickles (oijangajji). Unlike Western cucumber pickles, oijangajji is seasoned with a lot of other condiments and spices, which makes it good for side dishes. After we make the pickles I’ll show you how to make two side dishes that use oijangajji.

When you choose cucumbers, make sure they are firm and the skin of the cucumbers is dark green, so that it will be crunchy when they are made into pickles.

How to make Korean style salty cucumber pickles (oijangajji):

Ingredients:
Kirby cucumbers (5 pound: 2.5 kilograms), water, kosher salt, vinegar, apples

cucumbers

  1. Wash and drain 5 pounds of cucumbers.
  2. In a large pot put 9 cups water, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup vinegar.
  3. Remove the cores from two small apples. Slice the apples thinly and put them into the pot.
    brine
  4. Stir the pot of brine and apple slices with a wooden spoon until the salt on the bottom of the pot has dissolved.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat for about 40 minutes.
  6. Strain the cooked apples.
  7. Put the cucumbers into the hot brine. Turn them over with a wooden spoon
  8. Let the pot sit until the brine cools down.
  9. Move the cucumbers into a glass jar and pour the brine over the cucumbers.
    pickle2
  10. Close the lid and let it sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature
  11. Drain the cucumbers by pouring out the brine into a pot.
  12. Boil the brine again for 10 minutes to sterilize it.
    *tip: leave the cucumber in the jar
  13. Turn off the heat and let the brine cool down.
  14. Pour the brine into the cucumbers and refrigerate it.
    *tip: Wait at least 1 week to start eating
    pickle3

Yes, one week! : )

Ok, let’s make two kinds of authentic side dishes with oijangajji!

Oijangajji muchim (Korean style cucumber pickle side dish)

Ingredients:
2 pickled cucumbers (about ¾ to 1 cup), hot pepper flakes, garlic, green onion, green chili pepper, honey, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Slice 2 cucumber pickles thinly and put them into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1-2 ts of hot pepper flakes, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tbs chopped green onion, 2 ts chopped green chile pepper, ½ ts honey, and ½ ts sesame oil. Mix well with your hand.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle ½ tbs roasted sesame seeds.oijangajjimuchim

Serve with rice!

Oijangajji naengguk (cold cucumber pickle soup)

Ingredients:
2 cucumber pickles, garlic, vinegar, hot pepper flakes, salt, green onion, green chile pepper, red chile pepper or red bell pepper, honey, and ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Slice 2 pickled oijangajji thinly and put it into a glass bowl.
  2. Add 1 clove of minced garlic, 2 ts vinegar, 1 ts hot pepper flakes, 1 ts salt, 1 tbs chopped green chile pepper, 1 tbs chopped green onion, 1 tbs chopped red bell pepper or red chile pepper, 1 ts honey, and combine it with a spoon.
  3. Add 1 cup purified water, 7-8 ice cubes , and mix it.
    oijangajjinaengguk

Serve with rice.

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85 Comments:

  1. hellokitty08 My profile page joined 5/10
    Posted November 1st, 2013 at 10:13 am | # |

    After a week, do I throw away the brine? Or should I leave the cucumbers in the brine till I eat them? Will it get too salty? Thank you!

  2. xiaomei88 Dallas My profile page joined 7/13
    Posted July 14th, 2013 at 7:26 pm | # |

    Maangchi – Im trying to make some of the pickles. I have two jars, but when I reboiled the brine after 24 hours I lost a bit of it due to evaporation/spilling. Now on my second jar the tops of some of the tops of the pickles are not fully submerged in the brine. Will this ruin the pickles or should they be alright?

    Thanks!

  3. nanasse Amsterdam - Paris My profile page joined 10/11
    Posted November 26th, 2012 at 3:34 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I don’t know if you remember but when we met in Amsterdam, I told you that I was wondering if the salt in the oijangajji recipe was normal table salt or not as for me it was way too salty.

    So I made more oijangajji but with 1/2cup of salt and it turned out better for me.
    Then I ask my Korean friend how it was and she said that it was not enough salty.. haha so your recipe is really how it should be ;)
    She explained me that as it is eaten with rice, it has to be really salty.
    Personally I’ll keep it with 1/2cup of salt only but its funny to see how different it can be from one person taste to another ^o^

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 26th, 2012 at 7:57 pm | # |

      oh my god, nanasse, your name is Anastasia? : )

      I was going to email you after coming back from my Gapshida trip last year but never had a chance.

      After meeting you at Sarah’s house in Amsterdam with my other readers, I went to Rotterdam. When I met Reinier who uploaded some oijangajji photos on my website, I asked him. “Reinier, someone I met in Amsterdam said my oijangajji is way too salty. Do you think so?” Reinier said, “no, it’s ok for me..”

      If you don’t use enough salt in oijangajji it will turn out soggy. I was going to email you about it but never had a chance.
      Do you remember I had a small notebook where I wrote everybody’s names and email addresses? I just looked you up.

      I noticed that you’ve been posting all kinds of beautiful Korean food photos on my website these days, but I never knew it was you!

      Cheers, Anastasia!

  4. Borabora Chicago, IL My profile page joined 11/12
    Posted November 9th, 2012 at 4:13 pm | # |

    I tried making this but the pickles came out too salty. Can I dump some of the brine out and then add more water to the jar to make it less salty? I took the pickles I sliced already and soaked them in water, but I don’t want to do that every time I make this banchan.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 10th, 2012 at 5:03 pm | # |

      If you add more water, the cucumbers may get soggy. If it’s too salty, as you said, soak sliced cucumber in cold water, and squeeze out excess water before combining with seasonings. That’s what I’m doing.

  5. Shanneene Australia My profile page joined 5/12
    Posted November 6th, 2012 at 6:27 am | # |

    Hi there. I was wondering, if I could use Lebanese cucumbers to make this side dish.

  6. Molly2066 Vancouver Canada My profile page joined 11/11
    Posted November 28th, 2011 at 6:44 pm | # |

    Hi, I have a question, What kind of vinegar we should use? The rice wine one? or just the normal one?

  7. Chiba California My profile page joined 9/10
    Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 12:53 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    Does it matter what kind of apples to use for this recipe? It looks like you used Fuji apples.
    And, if you don’t already know it, you are wonderful! Thanks for all your hard work!!!
    Chiba

  8. heartflood Boston, MA My profile page joined 11/11
    Posted November 17th, 2011 at 8:26 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I’ve been reading your recipes for a long time. :) I’m wondering – is it ok if the brine reduces quite a lot? During the boiling, maybe half the liquid evaporated!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 18th, 2011 at 10:12 pm | # |

      hmm, yes, it will be ok but if you want more brine, add more water and salt when you boil it. Make salty and crispy oijangahjji! ; )

  9. annabby My profile page joined 3/11
    Posted March 28th, 2011 at 1:04 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I made this recipe but found the cucumber to be quiet salty. Can I rinse the pickle cucumber before adding the other ingredients to complete the side dish?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 28th, 2011 at 7:26 am | # |

      yes, this cucumber pickle is supposed to be salty and served with bland rice. Follow the direction in the recipe. But if you want it to be less salty, chop it up and soak it in cold water for a while until it reaches your satisfaction.

      • annabby My profile page joined 3/11
        Posted April 3rd, 2011 at 2:03 am | # |

        I’ve tried it again but this time did what you suggested and its so yummy. Thanks

  10. kwonwon singapore My profile page joined 2/11
    Posted March 6th, 2011 at 1:20 pm | # |

    hi maangchi, 2 questions for you.

    1. can we use sliced japanese cucumbers instead for this recipe?
    2. do you have the recipe for spicy potato banchan? it’s comes with a watery red gravy. i cannot leave comments on the potato banchan page!

    thanks a lot!

  11. Kayla Baltimore, Maryland My profile page joined 11/10
    Posted December 31st, 2010 at 6:01 pm | # |

    I remember my grandmother making pickles that were a little sweet; this sounds like the way she might have made them (makes sense, since she is Korean and likes to prepare traditional meals). She offered me some from a storage container and I wound up taking the whole thing home with me. They didn’t last long since they’re so delicious. Now I know how to make them!

  12. freedomfighter Minnesota My profile page joined 3/09
    Posted December 24th, 2010 at 10:43 am | # |

    Hi maangchi! I really want to make this..but I cannot find a Jar big enough….Where do you buy big jars for this?? Can it be plastic or does it have to be glass??

  13. JasEsth Singapore My profile page joined 12/10
    Posted December 3rd, 2010 at 3:07 am | # |

    Hey Maangchi,
    I just made oijangajji today for the first time and I used japanese cucumber instead of kirby cucumber. Can’t wait to know what the result from it. ^__^

  14. jeanster Singapore My profile page joined 8/10
    Posted November 30th, 2010 at 7:50 am | # |

    Maangchi,

    this is the 3rd time Im making this recipe. I find it difficult to gauge the amount of water for the brine. Small cucumbers in my country are mainly sold in 500gm packets. I tried making 1kg and 500gm oijanganchi in 2 separate batches but i always don’t get enough brine brine! >__<

  15. saruri Belgium My profile page joined 10/10
    Posted October 29th, 2010 at 11:59 am | # |

    hi Maangchi,

    Do you think it would be possible to freeze it afterwards?
    I’m the only one who’ll eat it, so I don’t want to throw it all away…

    thanks :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 29th, 2010 at 11:20 pm | # |

      no, it will turn out mushy if you freeze them. Keep it in the refrigerator. I recommend boiling salty broth from the pickles twice, then it will never go bad. Pour the salty broth into a pot with the cucumbers kept in the jar, and boil and cool it down. When the salty broth cools down, pour it into the cucumber jar again and put it back to the refrigerator.

  16. hellokitty08 My profile page joined 5/10
    Posted October 13th, 2010 at 3:06 pm | # |

    Hello. Can you convert this recipe for only two cucucumber dills? 5 pounds is too much and it’s only me and my husband. hehe

  17. hellokitty08 My profile page joined 5/10
    Posted September 10th, 2010 at 12:57 am | # |

    Is this the traditional way of making it? What does the apple do? And do I have to put honey or can I just use sugar? Thanks!

  18. ramen_kimchi My profile page joined 8/10
    Posted August 13th, 2010 at 8:33 am | # |

    I planned to make this and I like to know must I use kirby cucumber?Can I use just normal cucumber I can find ? Will it have any different ?

  19. Fariba Iran My profile page joined 7/10
    Posted August 1st, 2010 at 6:54 am | # |

    Hello dear Maangnchi,
    Here in Iran we make cucumber pickles with water , salt , vinger, galice and some dried or fresh herbals like tarragon and dill.

  20. Mae06 Massachusetts My profile page joined 7/10
    Posted July 19th, 2010 at 5:52 pm | # |

    Oh,I made this and it came out so good! next time i need to make more, because my family loved it!

    Thanks!

  21. Colorfulhyde California My profile page joined 5/10
    Posted May 21st, 2010 at 2:33 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi! I love your website and all the recipes! I made this pickles and loveeee them >_<! …and so did my family unfortunately, I did the cold cucumber soup and put it on the table while I was getting the rice and when I came back it was all gone!!! good thing that I did a lot of cucumbers! ^__^ Thank you for all your hard work!

  22. Joclamp Miami My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted February 22nd, 2010 at 10:13 pm | # |

    Maangchi:

    I am looking forward to trying out this recipe as I am a huge fan of pickles of all types. Do you think this might work with green tomatoes (like you find in a New York Deli) as well as cucumbers?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 23rd, 2010 at 1:33 am | # |

      I have never tasted green tomato pickles. : ) I don’t know if this recipe works for green tomatoes. Do some experiments and let us know the result.

  23. jen12 My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted February 22nd, 2010 at 3:09 am | # |

    Hi, I made the pickles 1 week ago and I found that there is some white residue sitting at the bottom of the jar. Is this normal and safe for consumption?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 22nd, 2010 at 6:38 am | # |

      Yes, it sometimes happens. Don’ worry much about the white residue. Drain the pickles and boil the pickle juice again. When the juice cools down, pour it into your pickles in the jar and keep it in the fridge.

  24. crazyjdriver Toronto, Canada My profile page joined 1/10
    Posted January 13th, 2010 at 10:05 pm | # |

    How long can you keep it pickled if in a cool place and not refrigerated?

  25. Cally
    Posted November 30th, 2009 at 2:25 am | # |

    Hi. I wanted to try this recipe! totally inlove with this dish. But I would like to ask, d vinegar used is white vinegar or apple cider vinegar? Thank you!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 30th, 2009 at 8:32 am | # |

      The type of vinegar doesn’t really matter, but I like the flavor of apple cider vinegar.

      • kulyia
        Posted January 7th, 2010 at 3:00 am | # |

        omg maangchi! itried it and i was really impressed with it. :D im looking forward to doing more hehe thank you!!

  26. Lise
    Posted November 24th, 2009 at 1:25 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi,
    First of all let me tell you that I really trully love your website! I am soooooo happy I found it. I love Korean food! This particular recipe makes my mouth water, but I haven’t tried it yet. I hope I will find the right pickles…
    I wanted to ask you if you knew how to make a pickle side dish they serve in Korean restaurants (at least they do in France where I live), I don’t know how it’s called but it’s yellowish and a bit spicy. You can find it in some asian stores (so I must have known the name once but really cannot find it right now), but it does not taste the same at all.
    I hope you will manage to guess what I am talking about.
    In any case, thank you very much for sharing your recipes!
    Lise

    • Alex
      Posted December 8th, 2009 at 6:09 pm | # |

      Did it look something like this? http://kitchen.naver.com/recipe/158680

      If so, all you need to buy is yellow picked radish at the Korean market, get one strip of it, and cut it into bite size pieces (like in the pictures) and add the following ingredients: 1 ts sesame oil, 2 tbs hot pepper flakes(adjust to your liking), 1tbs of green onions, 1/3 tbs of minced garlic, and a tbs of roasted sesame seeds. Mix well and serve!

  27. Kim
    Posted November 5th, 2009 at 2:34 pm | # |

    I have never heard of pickle soup! I love pickles and can’t wait to try these recipies. Is the soup eaten in Korea alot? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 6th, 2009 at 7:24 am | # |

      yes, it’s a side dish. Nobody eats as it is because it’s salty. Eat it with a bowl of rice.

  28. JT
    Posted October 3rd, 2009 at 9:43 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi,
    I <3 your websites and every recipe. I was wondering where you would find kirby cucumbers. Also could I substitute kirby cucumbers for regular cucumber.

  29. ririe
    Posted October 2nd, 2009 at 8:39 am | # |

    Thank you for sharing your recipe. Yesterday I try oijangajji recipe. When it is ready, I will tell you the result. Have a nice day, Maangchi.

  30. Hyo Jin
    Posted September 21st, 2009 at 11:41 am | # |

    I watched this video a week ago, and made oijangajji right away. After waiting a very anticipating week for the pickling process, they were ready just in time for my anniversary with my boyfriend. He’s Korean so i made a few of his favorite dishes. It was delicious! Thanks Maangchi!

  31. Anonymous
    Posted September 6th, 2009 at 9:19 pm | # |

    I love you maangchi!!!

  32. Lisa
    Posted September 6th, 2009 at 8:51 pm | # |

    Anyonghaseyo ^_^ I recently had some wonderful Korean crab cakes. Could you put up a recipe on this. Please.

  33. Sean A
    Posted September 6th, 2009 at 2:29 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I recently got back from Korea! I spent ten weeks in Seoul this summer. I brought back with me hard to find (in USA) ingredients to learn Korean cooking! I loooooove your website!! My cucumbers are pickling right now for me to make oijangajji muchim and naengguk. Yesterday I made your recipe for gaji namul and soon dubu!
    맛있었어요!!

  34. kyo nishimura
    Posted September 4th, 2009 at 5:58 pm | # |

    Could you make bibim guksu?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 4th, 2009 at 9:24 pm | # |

      ok, your request bibim guksu is included in the list of my upcoming recipes. Thank you very much!

  35. LISA
    Posted September 4th, 2009 at 9:11 am | # |

    I am using Japanese Cucumbers as this is the only kind I can get as I am in Japan. Being that the cucumbers are thinner and longer, will the wait time be less?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 4th, 2009 at 5:42 pm | # |

      I have never made jangajji with Japanese cucumbers, but I think it ill be ok to make it. Follow the same recipe and update me please because I’m curious about the result. I can tell my other readers that they could use Japanese cucumbers to make jangajji. Make a little amount just in case they turn out mushy.

    • tra32566 Navarre, Florida My profile page joined 6/10
      Posted June 3rd, 2010 at 5:39 pm | # |

      I’m curious too. Today my wife brought home a large bag of Japanese cucumber that a coworker gave her. I think they would work very well with this recipe, but given their size they would need to be sliced or cut much smaller. I would like to know how yours turned out and houw you prepared them. Thanks!

      • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
        Posted June 5th, 2010 at 4:07 pm | # |

        wow, your wife must be a cool person because her coworker gave her lots of cucumbers! I would not cut them in pieces. If you cut them, they may turn out mushy when they are pickled,.

  36. Liana
    Posted September 3rd, 2009 at 9:17 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi..
    Is it okey using Rice Vinegar for the Oijangajji ?? because I couldn’t find any Apple Vinegar today.. and if my cucumbers’s size can’t fits into my jar, is it okay to cut them in half when they are stored ?? thank’s~ XD

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 3rd, 2009 at 9:50 am | # |

      yes, you can use rice vinegar, too. I wouldn’t cut them in half for this recipe because as you see in the video, I blanch the whole cucumbers for a few minutes by putting them into hot brine! If you cut them in half, they will absorb too much heat and may get mushy.

  37. Hope
    Posted September 2nd, 2009 at 5:46 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi!
    I recently have received these Korean pickles as a gift from my mother’s friend, which is great but… they’re just too strong.
    Is there any way I can reduce the flavor of the pickles?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 3rd, 2009 at 10:00 am | # |

      too strong? Does it mean it’s too salty? If so, soak the cucumber slices in cold water for an hour before making these dishes. The pickles in this recipe will not be that salty. It’s time for you to make your own janahjji : )

      • Hope
        Posted September 3rd, 2009 at 6:52 pm | # |

        It’s too sour and too salty. I’ll try that, thanks ^^
        I will make this recipe once we finish all the pickles my mother’s friend has given us.

  38. Nicole
    Posted September 2nd, 2009 at 5:06 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi
    I just attemted to make the brine and when I took the lid off of the pot all the water had be boiled out and all that was left was salt and apples. Why is that?

    Thanks,
    Nicole

  39. Liana
    Posted September 2nd, 2009 at 2:36 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, what kind of vinegar do you use for your oijangajji? is it Apple Vinegar ?? thx~

  40. H
    Posted August 31st, 2009 at 6:47 pm | # |

    If I don’t have apples, can I substitute it for something else or leave it out?

  41. Sandy
    Posted August 31st, 2009 at 11:15 am | # |

    How interesting. I’ve never seen Korean pickles made with apples before…or if I did, I didn’t know that’s what they were. ;)Mom made some before, but it was always just cucumbers and salt put into a crock with the scum taken off the top periodically. It’d take weeks to ferment before it was ready. She’d do the same thing with some radishes…we’d actually make those in a small (new) trashcan looking container. But I like the speed of this recipe. I don’t have the patience for constant attention. Might give this recipe a try this weekend.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 31st, 2009 at 8:44 pm | # |

      yeah, more traditional way is not to use apples and use much more salt. I am trying to reduce the amount of salt in my diet.

  42. Ieu
    Posted August 30th, 2009 at 3:47 am | # |

    Greetings from London, UK. Thank you for another fantastic recipe, perfect timing as I have 20kg of kirby cucumber from the greenhouse garden sat in the kitchen at the moment(we are already eating alot of your cucumber kimchi). My question is how long do you think the pickled cucumber can be kept for once placed in the jars? Keep up the great work.

  43. Kutin
    Posted August 24th, 2009 at 11:31 am | # |

    Hey Maangchi,

    I love all your recipes, I have been trying to find authentic korean recipes for a long time now and finally on your site I saw a few that I have remember my mommy use to make me that she learn from her korean friends. I love your site, KEEP IT UP.

  44. I wuv Maangchi
    Posted August 22nd, 2009 at 3:55 pm | # |

    lol, my mom made this when i was like 6, and i ate all the apples while she was preparing the other ingredients!

  45. Yuna
    Posted August 22nd, 2009 at 3:53 pm | # |

    can we use corn syrup instead of honey or sugar?

  46. josh
    Posted August 22nd, 2009 at 2:17 am | # |

    yay!!!!!
    i love pickles (^_^)
    감사합니다!

  47. Cam
    Posted August 21st, 2009 at 11:43 am | # |

    This is the perfect recipe for me! :D I always crave pickled food. I’ve never seen apple pieces boiled with the brine before- very interesting, I can’t wait to try it.

  48. D
    Posted August 21st, 2009 at 11:34 am | # |

    What a coincident! We ate this at a Korean restaurant as one of the side dishes and my husband really likes the cucumber. Now I can make this at home! I always look forward to your new videos. Thanks Maanchi!

  49. annie
    Posted August 21st, 2009 at 8:58 am | # |

    i can’t wait to try this out! i don’t have glass jars though, is there a way to do this with plastic jars?

  50. ZeRd
    Posted August 21st, 2009 at 8:40 am | # |

    I just made the oijangajji naengguk for lunch.
    At first the idea of a cold pickled cucumber soup was so different.
    It was so easy to make and I loved the taste.
    I will be making it again.
    Going to try more of your recipes Maangchi!
    Thanks and regards from London, UK

  51. Amber
    Posted August 20th, 2009 at 11:47 pm | # |

    I am so excited to make this dish! I am going to go buy the cucumbers at the farmer’s market this weekend. Any sugguestions on where to get the large jars to store the cucumbers!

  52. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands My profile page I'm a fan! joined 2/09
    Posted August 20th, 2009 at 5:45 pm | # |

    What a great recipy for this hot summer!
    I just twisted my jaw though, trying to pronounce the name of the dish :)


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