Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad is the perfect beginner’s recipe to Korean cooking. This recipe will take under 20 minutes. Pairs well with meat and other vegetable banchans.
It requires little prep work and uses common pantry sauces. The cucumbers have a slightly spicy yet tangy kick, which helps refresh the palate after eating something greasy or meaty. In Seoul, we see this often in restaurants (often BBQ joints) as a complementary side-dish. Lately, we have been eating these cucumbers at home with a bowl of hot sticky rice. It tastes amazing! Even better, this recipe is both vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad
- Cucumbers - 3 whole
- Vinegar - 3 Tablespoons
- Korean red chili flakes - 2.5 Tablespoons
- Sugar - 2.5 Tablespoons
- Soy Sauce - 1 Tablespoon
- Minced Garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame seeds - Few shakes garnish
- Wash all three cucumbers and skin each cucumber with a peeler. Do not peel-off all of the skin, rather make uneven peels
- Chop cucumbers into half inch circles
- Pour salt onto the cucumbers and give them a good mix with your hands to coat thoroughly. Set the cucumbers aside for 30 minutes and they will slowly release water. Rinse them off and get rid of excess water
- For the marinade: Thoroughly mix vinegar, Korean red chili powder, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and minced garlic in a bowl
- Dress the cucumbers with the marinade. Get in there with you hands and coat all of it!
- Refrigerate – taste better when served chilled
- The cucumbers taste best when eaten within 1-2 days
- When placed in refrigerator, the cucumbers will release water. This is normal - no worries.
- Watch video below for detailed walk-through
I love this recipe for its simplicity and ease. I cut back the sugar and used only 1 teaspoon of monkfruit instead. It tasted great! Thank you for your cute down to earth video! So fun!
Hey, just FYI if you follow this recipe's measurements exactly, the paste has way too much liquid. I think you eyeballed way less vinegar in the video. I just made it a second time and both times I had to strain the excess liquid to get it back to a paste.
I definitely used less vinegar too because I don't like when my cucumbers are too sour and it tasted perfect. Also even with less vinegar it does get a little runny still.
An excellent recipe. Very refreshing and light.
I would give a 5-star rating and definitely recommend this recipe to many others. This is my 3 or 4 time making this mouthwatering dish, shared it with my neighbours and got the best comments. I loved the flavour bomb, all sweet and savoury at the same time.
Made this for the first time today and it was so nice and refreshing. Definitely gonna make this again!
I accidentally bought chili paste instead of powder. Can use the paste as a substitute?
easy, yummy & good! what else can you ask for
This is our go to for any extra cucumbers we have laying around. It's perfect!
I really love making this each week! I was wondering if gochugaru can loose spiciness over time? I eat this stuff straight out of the fridge with no rice, but you mention in the video it's not supposed to be eaten on its own because it's spicy. It doesn't taste super spicy to me though? I don't know. I've had this gochugaru for over two years, so it's probably lost some of its potency lol. I'm guessing you probably go through gochugaru too quickly to know from first hand experience. Still, it's delicious!
Demons usually say super spicy food isn't spicy at all. I have a few of them in my family.
Are you using white vinegar? Or a seasoned vinegar? Thank you!!
We used rice vinegar here. But for this specific recipe, white vinegar also works fine 🙂
Super easy to make ... and delicious w/rice!
Just made this today. Really good with rice. For my own taste, I might cut back on the sesame oil. I’m just not use to it yet. Thanks for sharing this recipe.