Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad

It’s such a treat when we head to H Mart to grocery shop! I know I know, you must think I don’t get out much, but the truth is there’s just something special about that particular Asian market, is it the smell of delicious Korean deli as soon as we step in the entrance? Or is it the beautifully stacked fresh fruits and vegetables begging to come home with me? Maybe it’s both… We don’t venture there often, maybe 5-6 times a year due to the long drive (It takes 40-45 minutes), but when we do go, I make sure to bring home a huge cart full of yummies!

I am featuring another cucumber recipe, even though they are both made with the same main ingredient, but the taste is night and day. My Japanese Cucumber Salad was light and crisp, slightly tangy and sweet. The Korean version here is much stronger, spicy and garlicky. Both got rave reviews from the family, I am thrilled because it’s such an easy side dish to prepare, eating cucumber in the Summer time is considered “Cooling” (Chinese Wisdom), plus anytime I can get the family to eat more vegetable, we all win!

This recipe is from Hyosun Ro (Eating & Living), I have been following her for quite a while now, though Korean food preparation still seems daunting to me (this is why we eat out at Korean restaurants A LOT). I didn’t have all the ingredients so the recipe was modified a little, since the family really enjoyed it, I am sharing it here. Thank you Hyosun, you rock!

I served Chinese Spaghetti with the cucumber salad, it was a great combination.


4-5 mini cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Korean hot pepper paste (gochugaru)
1 tablespoon chopped scallion
1 clove garlic minced
2 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil


Thinly slice the cucumber (1/8 to 1/4-inch thick). Toss gently with salt and set aside for 15 -20 minutes. Drain excess liquid. (Avoid squeezing them because they will bruise.) Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl, then add onto the cucumber and toss well. Serve chilled.


31 Comments Add yours

  1. kankana says:

    A friend had once made some cucumber salad for me long back and it looked very much like this one. Have no clue how she made it but this one , I am gonna try.

    1. Jeno says:

      Awesome Kankana! I had some more for lunch and it was even better the next day. The only issue is garlic breath, haha!

  2. Oh wow it takes you so long to get to a Korean grocery? I shouldn’t complain then there one just around the corner from where we live and it’s great hehe I love shopping there probably spend way too much money hehe πŸ™‚ Great recipe I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cucumbers raw, cooked, baked or anything to do with cucumbers lol probably one of the few ‘healthy’ things that I like woo hoo!
    Thanks for Jeno have an amazing weekend!

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Daisy! You are so lucky to have a good Korean grocery store so near by. We just got back home from brunch at a Korean restaurant this morning, had their rice cake & dumpling soup, my little girl said we are crazy for having such hot soup during Summer, but I can’t help it, I LOVE Korean food!

      Hope you are enjoying your weekend also!

  3. Aww. This looks wonderful! I’ve tried Japanese cucumber salad and liked it very much, but not Korean yet. Have to give it a try! πŸ˜€

    Happy weekend to you and your family, Jeno!

    1. Jeno says:

      Thank you Kath! I grew up eating cucumber salad that’s similar to the Japanese ones, the Korean style is much more strong in taste, very delicious!

      Have a great weekend, we are celebrating Memorial holiday, 3 day weekend!

  4. Sissi says:

    Jeno, it sounds gorgeous! I’m also a fan of Hyosun’s blog and of course of the Korean cuisine! It reminds me of the cucumber kimchi I wrote about some time ago (the best kimchi I have ever made, but maybe it’s because cucumber is my favourite vegetable? I strongly advise it because it is very easy too).
    You are so lucky to have a Korean shop. I have to buy rare Korean products in a general Asian shop or in Japanese shops and some are impossible to get. (I don’t speak Korean but I think gochujaru is “chili powder” and gochujang is the paste name).
    I think I will be making this salad very very soon… Thank you for the inspiration! One more recipe for someone who could have cucumber for every single me (yes, that’s me!).
    PS How do you manage to take such fabulous night photos???

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Sissi! You are too kind! You are definitely the inspiration for me to purchase cucumber last weekend. H Mart had them in breathable bags,gorgeous mini ones. I was not a huge fan of cucumber salads growing up, but from reading your postings, the way you artfully describe the taste, I had to give them a try again. Now I realize how much my family and I have been missing out!

      I really appreciate your comment about my photos, truthfully the images are not that great without retouching. I have to take the photos into Photoshop to do color corrections and cropping. Maybe I will find time to cook during the day soon and look at the difference natural light makes, but so far due to time constrains, Photoshop it is!

      Have a great weekend!

  5. shuhan says:

    that looks simply gorgeous jeno! It reminds me of cucumber kimchi, like what sissi mentioned, but a much quicker version. I love the refreshing crunch of cucumber especially in the hot hot summer, this is going to be great in any summer meal!

    (I know the chinese spaghetti is not the main star of this post, but can I just add that it deserves a writeup of its own! looks fab)

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Shuhan, thank you for the compliments! The Japanese and Korean cucumber salad recipes have converted me, they will be making a repeat performance in my kitchen very soon!

      The Chinese spaghetti recipe can be found here: https://weeknitemeals.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/chinese-spaghetti/, sorry I thought it was included in the blog posting, when in fact I only included on my FB Page. Anywho here it is, I make it a lot since it’s so easy to prepare!

      1. shuhan says:

        Thanks for the link jeno! Btw I got some cucumbers at the farmer’s marketyesteday, first of the season, guess I’ll be making this pretty soon!

      2. Jeno says:

        HI Shuhan! That’s awesome news, I bet cucumbers from the farmer’s market taste so much better than the ones from regular old supermarkets. Though I’d settle for any mini cucumbers right now. Looks like I can only find them at the H Mart that’s 45 minutes away, darn!

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I love Hyosun’s blog too and tried several recipes from her site. This cucumber salad looks wonderful! I still have some cucumbers left from last week. πŸ˜‰

    1. Jeno says:

      We have been on a Korean food kick, made sweet potato noodles tonight and it was so yummy. Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend!

  7. The cucumber salad looks fantastic, I love cucumber. They are so versatile and delicious, especially when they’re raw!

    1. Jeno says:

      Thank you Jenny, it was a surprise how much my family enjoyed the cucumbers, can you believe I never make dishes with them until now?

  8. Very nice. I am a fan of cucumbers so this looks great to me:)

    1. Jeno says:

      Thanks Miss Kimbers! Cucumbers are on a lot of people’s mind right now, nice and cool to tone down the Summer heat we’ve been having!

  9. I can’t stop thinking how great this cucumber would go with my congee today. Too bad I don’t have any cucumber in my fridge. The Korean pepper paste definitely adds a good kick to this dish. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jeno says:

      I wonder what kind of congee did you make today… We enjoyed some Thousand year old egg and pork ones yesterday at dim sum, the chef made them especially chunky and it was delicious! Hope you enjoy your Sunday!

  10. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love Asian grocery stores. You always find so many things of interest. I don’t cook Korean food as I just haven’t been exposed to it too much and I don’t have any Korean cookbooks but I’ve heard great things about the cuisine and this is a fine example. xx

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Charlie, do give Korean food a try if you can, I find them extremely flavorful, one of our favorite cuisines that’s for sure!
      Can’t wait to read more of your postings, your family’s a hoot!

  11. shuhan says:

    Just thought I’d check in again, I made the salad and it was delicious!

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Shuhan! I am so glad to hear you liked the recipe! Sorry about the late response, we just got back from 12 days of family vacation, I am trying hard to get back to normalcy… The older I get the more I need a vacation after the actual vacation!

  12. How are you doing, Jeno? I miss reading your blog! πŸ™‚

    1. Jeno says:

      Hi Kath! Thanks for checking up on me. I am doing good, laziness aside, I have not posted because the next entry will be my 200th, so I really wanted to share a fantastic tasting dish. Think the chicken I cooked last night could be it!

      How are you doing? Bet the warm and fuzzies are with you now Fern is around! πŸ™‚

      1. Oh wow, 200 posts! Congratulations! I understand you want to make something special then! πŸ˜€

        I’m busy but fine. πŸ™‚

  13. I’ve always shopped at our huge 99 Ranch Market and also a few other markets in that same area, but am so glad an H Mart just opened closer to my home…woohoo! And I’m going to try this recipe for when my Korean friend stops by for lunch. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Cindy!

    1. Jeno says:

      OMG I am SOOOOOOOOO Jealous of you, you have no idea! It literally takes almost 1 hour for us to drive to H Mart, due to the raising gas price, we have not gone for MONTHS!!!!!

      1. Those darn gas prices! They ruin everything (insert lots of dramatic faces and yelling)! I will think of you every time I go to H Mart. lol! Do you like tea, btw?

      2. Jeno says:

        I do like tea, though I am not sure whether I know much about it. Every morning I steep a tea bag and drink throughout the day, gives me the caffeine kick I need to work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s