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 would want to try this with pepper flakes in it. how much should i put in? thanks~~

  2. I had some leftover oi naengguk in the fridge, but my wife accidentally put it in the blender! :O It was still very good, though. I think I may even like it better.

  3. Jon Segal& has 1 comment

    I just made the cold cucumber soup and it was excellent not to mention a very fast dish. I love cold sour soups. I frequent a Korean restaurant in the Chicago area called Woo Lae Oak. They often have a cold radish soup that is a clear salty and sour liquid with daikon radish. I love it. Can’t seem to find a recipe for this soup anywhere. Do you have one?

    Thanks for the great recipe! Jon

  4. Nathan Simpson& has 2 comments

    I’m using your recipe to teach English to Korean moms. We’ll see how it goes. We’re going to learn some cooking vocabulary!

  5. haha, you are so cute in your video!!!
    I can’t wait to try this recipe especially since it’s so hot now and I have lots of cucumbers. =) Hopefully, the “normal” (non-English) variety works as well!
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. I made galbi tonight and made this soup to go with it. It was FANTASTIC! I haven’t had this since I left Korea 6 years ago, but it was just as I remembered. Excellent recipe! Thank you so much. I enjoy all of your recipes and videos and am so grateful to you for all the work you do here! (^o^)

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

    haha, nice! Actually you can put some cooked noodles and eat it as cold noodles.

    Thank you for your nice comment.

  8. This recipe is a masterpiece, and I can understand the woman! Thanks a lot for sharing. This is Quick, Easy and OH SO GOOD! I combined it with warm sake to create an interesting temperature difference.

  9. Hi Maangchi I just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe for the first time today and it was delicious the recipe calls for two servings but I found myself eating the whole thing hehe. The flavour reminded me of vietnamese cuisine. I love all your recipes and your videos. Korean food has always been fascinating to me and thanks to your help I can now cook korean right at home for my family! Thanks Maangchi :)

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

    anny from Athens,

    adding extra chilly flakes sounds good! : )

  11. Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent recipes!!!
    I know it’s winter now, but it was a sunny warm day today, and I was doing some gardening. I made this soup, because I needed something refreshing and spicy to pick me up! I added extra red chilly flakes, and it was good!!!

    Keep up the good work Maangchi! Kisses from sunny Athens/Greece!

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

    Yes, you should steam it.

  13. Hi Maangchi! I love to see your cooking videos. You make korean cooking very easy for me^^, At first, I thought preparing korean dish is quite difficult but it’s not. Thanks to you^^,
    bdw, I wonder how would I prepare the eggplant for naengguk. Do I have to boil the eggplant and add it to naengguk or it’s just fresh eggplant?
    Again, congratulations for a job well done Maangchi!^^,

  14. Wow Maangchi, thanks so much for the quick reply. I can’t wait till you post your versions of those recipes!!!

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

    oh, the cucumber side dish you had is very easy to make.
    Slice English cucumber thinly and sprinkle some salt. Remove water from the salted cucumber 10 minutes later and squeeze it slightly. In a bowl, put some minced garlic, hot pepper paste and powder, vinegar, sugar and mix it. Then add the sliced cucumber to the bowl and mix it. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and sesame oil.
    My cucumber side dish doesn’t use vinegar. I will post the recipe someday later.

    The recipe for fish cake side dish will be posted later, too.

    Thanks a lot!

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