Korean cucumber banchan, also known as oi muchim, is a refreshing and lightly seasoned side dish that is commonly served at Korean BBQ restaurants. It’s also incredibly easy to make at home and only requires a few simple ingredients. I’ll walk you through the steps to make your own delicious cucumber banchan and answer some frequently asked questions about the dish.
Ingredients to make Korean cucumber banchan
- 2 English cucumber
- Green onions
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Korean chili powder
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- Sesame seeds for garnish
How to make cucumber banchan
- Wash and slice the cucumber into thin slices. Chop the green onion about 2 inches in length.
- In a bowl, mix the cucumber with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes (salt will draw out the water in the cucumber), then drain out the juice.
- In a small bowl, mix together cucumber, green onion, minced garlic, soy sauce, chili powder, sugar, vinegar, and sesame oil.
- Let it marinate for 20 minutes. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Garnish some sesame seeds when ready to serve.
Your cucumber banchan should be ready to serve in 20 minutes. You can serve it as a side dish at your next Korean BBQ feast, or enjoy it as a refreshing snack on its own. The banchan will keep in the fridge for about a week, so you can make a batch in advance and enjoy it throughout the week.
Can I use regular cucumbers instead of English cucumbers?
Yes, you can use regular cucumbers for this recipe, but keep in mind that English cucumbers tend to be sweeter and have thinner skin, which gives them a more delicate flavor. If you do use regular cucumbers, you may want to peel them if the skin is thick or waxed.
Can I omit the sugar from the recipe?
The sugar helps to balance out the acidity of the rice vinegar and adds a touch of sweetness to the banchan. However, if you prefer a less sweet flavor, you can certainly reduce or omit the sugar.
Can I use a different type of vinegar?
You can certainly experiment with different types of vinegar, but keep in mind that rice vinegar has a mild and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with cucumbers. If you use stronger or more pungent vinegar, you may want to adjust the amount used to taste.