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 salad 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. 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, toasted 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.


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  1. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    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

  2. 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!

  3. Ch706 joined 7/15 & has 1 comment

    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.

  4. tansook joined 7/15 & has 2 comments

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

  5. cdnsongbird British Columbia joined 1/14 & has 2 comments

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

  6. aTrueRedHead Germany joined 8/14 & has 16 comments

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

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

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

      • aTrueRedHead Germany joined 8/14 & has 16 comments

        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 joined 2/15 & has 47 comments

          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.

  7. Dee_ joined 5/15 & has 1 comment

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

  8. momnamedjules RSM, California joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    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!

  9. hyunee joined 5/15 & has 3 comments

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

  10. acari joined 5/15 & has 4 comments

    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!!

  11. Tosin_Oc London, UK joined 3/15 & has 40 comments

    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

  12. knitkitsune United States joined 6/14 & has 5 comments

    Hello Maangchi!

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

  13. TaeguChadd New Jersey joined 2/11 & has 6 comments

    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!!

    See full size image

  14. 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.

  15. pp_123 Hong Kong joined 12/14 & has 9 comments

    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.

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