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Non Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)

Last Updated on August 16, 2023

Korean cucumber salad is a deliciously festive dish with enough Korean cucumber to liven your entire week! Enjoy it as a standalone or a side with your favorite noodle or rice dishes.

If you’re wanting to jump on this simple Korean cucumber salad recipe bandwagon but can’t stomach the spicy flavor, then this is a great recipe for you!

a bowl of asian pickled cucumbers

It’s super easy to make the salad. The taste is savory and refreshing crunch in texture.

In order to make this crunchy salad 100% mild, I completely removed Gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes or chili powder) that are often used for Kimchi). So that kids and seniors can enjoy these Asian pickled cucumbers too.

Non Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim, Cucumber Banchan)

Crunchy Korean cucumber side dish is eaten as a part of a Banchan, meaning a side dish in Korean. Toasted sesame seeds, rice vinegar, and minced garlic are tossed together with sliced cucumber and topped with chili pepper flakes for an additional kick.

Banchan serves delicacies such as pickled radish wraps, kimchi, and cooked rice alongside cucumber. It’s a tasty salad that is slightly sweet and garlicky, often served at parties, family gatherings, and even weddings.

In Korea, cucumber salad is Oi Muchim, which loosely means seasoned cucumbers. In North America, Korean bbq restaurants offer cucumber salad as a side dish for main meals. The Asian cucumber salad is a fan favorite because of its simple ingredients and tangy aroma. Making this salad one of my favorite Korean side dishes!

Non Spicy Cucumber Salad Recipe

Simple and humble ingredients for this Oi Muchim recipe:

  • Cucumber – Use any cucumber, you can use English or Persian cucumbers, they both work with this recipe. You want to pick young and fresh cucumbers for salads as they don’t have a lot of seeds in them.
  • Rice Vinegar – You can use Korean rice vinegar in this dish. Korean rice vinegar are milder and lighter than Chinese rice vinegar.
  • Garlic Cloves – freshly minced or jarred both ok.
  • Sesame Oil– To keep the nutty flavor without overwhelming it, choose a light toasted sesame oil (lighter in color).
  • Maple Syrup– a touch of sweetness always makes dishes nicer.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds– add a teaspoon to add a different texture to the dish.

(Ingredient quantities in the recipe card down below)

Ingredient Substitutions

Now, if you’re wanting to add more flavor to make up for no spicy ingredients, add in some soy sauce and minced ginger! And while on the subject of red pepper, try blending in a bit of gochujang seasoning!

In case you’re not familiar with gochujang. Gochujang is a mixture of onion, garlic, syrup, and pepper that is a classic Asian condiment used in many dishes. It’s like enjoying a double whammy of cucumber salad ingredients but paired down into a sauce.

And don’t forget the scallions! Green onions pair wonderfully with the minced garlic and take well to the sesame seeds too. Add a few pieces of roasted pineapple and pair them with cooked rice for a delicious meal!

Looking to add a little tang but not a full, heady spicy flavor? Consider a tablespoon of paprika, pepper flakes or ground red chili pepper. It’s enough to give the simple Korean cucumber a bite, but not enough to set your mouth on fire-hopefully.

How to Make Korean Cucumber Salad

The ingredients are easy to find and will take less than 20 minutes to prepare.

how to pickling cucumbers
  1. Wash and pat dry the cucumbers. Peel the cucumber skin partialy (optional).
  2. Cut them into medium-sized slices. Slice your cucumber thick or thin according to your preference. If you’re preparing Korean Cucumber Salad as a side, then I suggest cutting thin slices and vice versa for eating it alone.
  3. Place the cucumbers in a large mixing bowl, add ½ tsp salt and mix well. Let cucumbers set aside for 20 minutes then drain the excess water from the cucumbers.
  4. Next, toss in the rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, minced garlic, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds. Mix it well with a spoon until the cucumber slices are evenly coated. To enjoy the fullness of cucumber salad Korean style, toss the mixture into the refrigerator for approximately 30 to 45 minutes before serving with your main or BBQ. 😉

pickling cucumbers
asian pickled cucumber

Can You Prepare It Ahead?

Yes! Korean Cucumber Salad is an easy recipe to prepare ahead of time and is simply the best! Once prepared, immediately store it in an air-tight container and leave it in the fridge until it’s time to serve.

If you are preparing Korean Cucumber Salad days in advance, I recommend separating the cucumbers and the dressing.

Store them in airtight containers, and then combining them a few hours before storing. This is because cucumbers have a high-water content which can turn your salad into soup easily.

By storing your chopped cucumbers in an airtight container with a few pieces of paper towel underneath which will help catch the water drippings and prevent the cucumbers turned soggy.

That’s because the cucumbers are water base, it’s easy to have a soupy mess on your hands. But, if you serve the dish for a few hours up to a full day after preparation then you will be fine.

How to Store?

You can store Korean cucumber salad in a wooden mixing bowl or a storage container with an airtight lid. I recommend storing the cucumber salad in an air-tight storage container to prevent the cucumbers from turning too quickly. Store the salad in the refrigerator and it will last up to 4-5 days.

Do you like this not-spicy Korean Cucumber salad? I’d love hearing from you! 😊 

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More Delicious Salad Ideas

a brown of asian pickled cucumbers

Korean Cucumber Salad (Not Spicy At All!)

Korean cucumber salad is a deliciously festive dish with enough Korean cucumber to liven your entire week! Enjoy it as a standalone or a side with your favorite noodle or rice dishes.
5 from 28 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 103kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Ingredients

  • 2 pc Cucumber English or Persian both work well
  • ½ tsp Salt

Salad Dressing

Variations see above

    Instructions

    • Wash and pat dry the cucumbers. Peel the cucumber skin partialy (optional).
    • Cut them into medium-sized slices. Slice your cucumber thick or thin according to your preference. If you’re preparing Korean Cucumber Salad as a side, then I suggest cutting thin slices and vice versa for eating it alone.
    • Place the cucumbers in a large mixing bowl, add ½ tsp salt and mix well. Let cucumbers set aside for 20 minutes then drain the excess water from the cucumbers.
    • Next, toss in the rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, minced garlic, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds. Mix it well with a spoon until the cucumber slices are well coated. To enjoy the fullness of cucumber salad Korean style, toss the mixture into the refrigerator for approximately 30 to 45 minutes before serving with your main or BBQ. 😉

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1people | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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