Cold cucumber soup side dish

Oi-naengguk 오이냉국

Are you looking for something refreshing, light, healthy, and cold cold cold? Yes, how about a cold cucumber side dish? In Korean it’s called oi-naengguk and it’s perfect for summer! The thin cucumber matchsticks soaked in icy cold, sweet, sour, salty, and garlicky brine will please your appetite. The cold temperature is a nice surprise and the crispy but soft texture of the cucumber is wonderful.

A great thing about this side dish is that you can make it in 5 minutes, and you don’t need to cook anything at all. Just cut the ingredients and mix.

Make this in the summer time, and I guarantee everyone will love it. My cookbook co-writer, Lauren, learned how to make this when she was recipe testing, and got a ton of stars from her family when she served it. They are all fans of oi-naengguk now, and when the book was done Lauren told me it’s one of her favorite Korean dishes. I was surprised!

I originally posted an oi-naengguk video years ago, but this one is a little updated and is a vegetarian version, and the video is HD. If you’re looking for the old one, it’s still here.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large English cucumber (12 ounces) or 2 to 3 kirby cucumbers, chilled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh red chili pepper (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vinegar
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 7-8 ice cubes (1 cup)
  • 1- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, ground


  1. Cut the cucumber into 3 inch long thin matchsticks and put them into a chilled mixing bowl.cucumber-matchsticks
  2. Add garlic, green onion, and red chili pepper (if used).
  3. Add the salt, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Mix well, gently with a spoon until the salt and sugar are well dissolved.oi-naengguk (cold cucumber soup : 오이냉국)oi-naengguk (cold cucumber soup : 오이냉국)
  4. Add the water,  ice cubes, and the sliced tomato (if you use), and gently mix with a spoon.oi-naengguk (cold cucumber soup : 오이냉국)
  5. Put the sesame seeds powder on top, scoop out 4 portions into individual bowls, and serve right away with rice.

oi-naengguk (cold cucumber soup : 오이냉국)

Cold cucumber soup

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  1. Hi Maangchi! I love your website!!

    I’m just wondering if you knew the recipe for making a side dish that I see a lot in Korean restaurants. The side dish is cucumbers and it’s sweet and also has red spicy sauce. I think it’s with vinegar and sugar. I keep trying to find the recipe online but I only find the recipe for KIMCHI CUCUMBER, which is NOT the same.

    Also, I love the fishcake that they often serve with the above mentioned side dish. Do you have any recipes for those? Thank you!!! keep up the great work!

  2. thank you very and god bless u ;)

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

    Allo allo Myla!
    You can use either white vinegar or apple vinegar. I love the flavor of apple vinegar.

  4. Hi, thanks for the recipe, but can i use a white vinegar or just an apple vinegar?

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

    oh, interesting! yeah, we always see similar food between different cultures. Thanks!

  6. Jennifer& has 20 comments


    This reminds me of my moms cooking, there’s a thai salad called ” Som tum taeng” using cucumbers it’s the same way to make “oi neanggkok” but you shred the cucumbers and don’t add water or ice cubes.

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

    You remind me of one of my blog readers. She said she has changed her diet to Korean food since she found my cooking videos on the internet and lost 75 pounds! I didn’t ask her weight though. : ) Anyway, you asked me to recommend healthy and low cal dish. Why don’t you make seaplant soup (miyuk guk in Korean ) My mother loves the soup. She makes it at least twice a week!

  8. Wow, will try this next time :D Sounds like a low-cal dish, haha. Maangchi, could you recommend me some low-cal dishes I could cook during a diet? I just got interested in Korean cooking, but I really need to lose some weight -_- 제발요~

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

    haha, you got some engergy! : )

  10. Jennifer& has 20 comments

    I just made some and ate it.. I used following this recipe. I left over cucember from a salad I made that I didn’t use. I feel like I have energy from eating it lol My only thing s I forgot to put salt. But it was good! had some thai chili peppers so I used those in the soup too.

  11. has 2 comments

    I will definitely get the right peppers next time. Thanks for the recipe, Maangchi!

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

    As long as you emptied it all, who would care! : ) But next time you should try to follow the recipe exactly.
    You will see the difference.

  13. I made this in a bad mood today – and now I’m in a good mood! Unfortunately, I was in a pinch. I had to substitute the hot red pepper with red pepper flakes and the green pepper with a couple of chopped green olives. It ended up tasting like olives ^_^ Not bad, overall~~ At least it looked okay!

    …and no one can tell now that I’ve ate it all *ha!ha!*

    I promise I’ll try this with eggplant some time.

  14. As long as it is made with fresh, good quality ingredients and proper cooking methods, it is gourmet food to me! And most of all, made with love!!!

  15. Thats soo true!

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