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Oi Muchim

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Recipe adopted from Korean Bapsang.  [Recipe serves 3 to 4].

As some of you may know, my younger sister has spent the majority of the past year teaching in South Korea.  Figuring that I should start to get a feel for South Korean cuisine, I asked her for some recommendations on what to make.  On her list was a recipe called oi muchim, which is a side dish that consists mainly of cucumbers, Korean red pepper powder, vinegar, and sesame oil.  Although all of the recipes that I found present the cucumbers sliced in rounds, her school serves it julienned - which I prefer too, due to its visual appeal.

The one ingredient that I didn't have laying around the house was gochugaru [ko-CHU-kar-oo], which is a Korean red pepper powder.  Its texture is somewhere between our chili powder and crushed red pepper, and its heat level was not as hot as cayenne powder but still had had a kick to it.  A few months from now, we'll have the Korean expert give this dish a taste test and see if it's similar to what she's used to, or if changes need to be made.  We'll keep you posted!


2 kirby cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon gochugaru
1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil


Slice each cucumber lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.  Slice the halves into julienned strips (roughly 1/8" x 1/8" x 2" to 3").  Sprinkle the salt over the cucumbers and gently toss.  Let the cucumbers sit for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk together the gochugaru, green onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar, sesame seeds, and sesame oil in a small bowl.

After 15 minutes, transfer the cucumber to a stack of paper towels and gently blot out any moisture.  [Side note:  If the salt did its job, there will be a small pool of water at the bottom of your cucumber bowl].  In a clean bowl, combine the drained cucumbers with the sauce, and stir with a rubber spatula or set of tongs until fully coated.

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  1. Looks good -- can't wait to try it at home!
    What did you think of the dish's overall taste?

    1. It was pretty good :) I think next time I might increase the sauce to cucumber ratio (or use less/smaller cucumbers), and then use a darker sesame oil. I don't think the sesame flavor came through as much as it should have. Good side dish though! P.S. - you'll have a year's worth of gochugaru waiting for you in the States, lol.

    2. Awesome, we should try to make kimchi in the fall (so it can ferment during winter)! Bill's neighbors are Korean, and I think they make a bunch every year. I wonder if they'd teach...