Canadian Doenjang Ep. 17: Oi Muchim

Can you tell how much we love the eating part?!
Can you tell how much we love the eating part?!

The first time I had oi muchim (오이무침, spicy cucumber salad) I thought it was oi sobagi (오이소박이, cucumber kimchi). It wasn’t until later that I realized that they were two different dishes and while I loved both, I really liked oi muchim in the summer. It was perfect for picnics and outdoor summer barbecues. So, of course, being who I am and with my love of food and cooking, I asked for a recipe.

It’s super easy, probably the easiest and quickest recipe we’ve made on Canadian Doenjang. And with summer just around the corner, it’s timely too. Unlike kimchi, there is no fermentation – it’s a fresh dish – so you can make it up fresh when you need it.

Oi muchim also reminded me of a spicy version of a cucumber dish that my grandmother used to make, one that was also quick and easy but marinated in a vinegar broth. So once I started making it for myself as a summer banchan (반찬, side dish), I would split the cucumber in half – making half oi muchim and half cucumber salad. They compliment each other nicely and like I said, are perfect for summer. 

The Recipe: Oi Muchim

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber, washed not peeled
  • 1 green onion, sliced finely
  • 1 garlic clove, minced finely
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp gochugaru (고추가루, Korean red pepper powder) – I tend to use 3 tsp (which is also 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil – I tend to use 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
Ingredients - making the oi muchim
Ingredients – making the oi muchim

Directions

1. Slice cucumber thinly.

2. In a glass bowl, mix together all seasoning ingredients. Adjust to taste.

3. Add cucumber slices and mix gently together by hand. Please remember to use disposable gloves as you won’t want the spice on your hands.  

4. Let sit for 20-30 minutes for the flavour to set in. Serve.

This banchan is perfect on a picnic and really compliments just about any form of barbecued meat. 

And in case you wanted to make it the way I do, here’s the recipe to the version of “Cucumber Salad” that I grew up with. But remember, if you are splitting the cucumber in half (perfect if you’re a single person like me), to also halve the other ingredients. However, if you’re feeding more than 2 people, stick with the full recipe (as printed here).

Massaging the seasoning into the sliced cucumber
Massaging the seasoning into the sliced cucumber

Cindy’s Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cider or white vinegar (I prefer white as it’s a lighter flavour)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

Directions

1. Mix together all ingredients except cucumber in a glass bowl until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add cucumber and let marinate for at least 2 hours.

It’s perfect with spicy food, noodles or any dish that might be a little oily. And of course, it’s perfect with oi muchim and barbecue.

Secret tip: I tend to slice the cucumber more thinly for oi muchim (1-2 mm) than I do for cucumber salad (2-3 mm). It helps keep the later crisper and gives the former more flavour.

Yay, eating time!
Yay, eating time!

Final Thoughts

This is the last Canadian Doenjang for Jen. *cry* We are super sad to say goodbye to Jen as our wonderful videographer and editor. But don’t worry, we’ll still be posting out monthly Canadian Doenjang recipes and cooking shows… there will just be a new face behind the camera in June. Stay tuned to find out who it will be.

This is the perfect summer banchan and I love the two together. But more importantly, I would love to hear from you, our lovely readers! If you make one or both of our recipes, please leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday – this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it’s taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I’m the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

We want to hear what you think!

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