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  • Writer's pictureJenny Gruben

Recipe: Korean Cucumber Side Dish (aka Korean Spicy Cukes!)

This Korean cucumber side dish offers the perfect fresh, crunchy add-on to your meal, with a kick! Even better, you can make it the night before so the flavors really soak in and set. Don't shy away from this if you're not a big fan of spice - you can adjust the heat temp very easily and still enjoy the delicious flavors.

Try pairing this with my Korean Lettuce Wraps and Rice Bowls recipe for the perfect dinner, or make in larger slices to have on hand as a healthy snack!

Korean Cucumber Side Dish

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 English cucumber

  • 1/8-1/4c thinly sliced onion (I use yellow/sweet)

  • 2tbsp minced garlic

  • 2tbsp soy sauce

  • 2-3tsp Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)

  • 2tsp sesame oil

  • 1tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar

  • 1tbsp sugar

  • 1 green onion slicked thin


Slice cucumber in half lengthwise then slice diagonally in to thin pieces (not too thing or you lose the crunch). Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, vinegar and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the Gochugaru and onion, then add the cucumbers and stir well. Add the green onion and gently stir through. Serve chilled.

Tips from your Top Goose

  • The style and slice of the cucumber can be adjusted to your liking. I prefer the English cucumber because it holds its crunch and isn't too full of seeds. If you go with a traditional cucumber, I recommend you core out the seeds before slicing. If you are making this for a snacking side, you can opt to make long skinny sticks (think spears/french fry) and store in a jar for easy snacking.

  • My absolute go to for slicing green onions (and so many other fresh herbs) are these amazing herb scissors. Get yourself a pair, you'll thank me!

  • Be sure to use Gochugaru and not traditional red pepper flakes, because the flavor is very different. They have a smoky heat to them that is delicious. All Gochugaru is not created equal - different brands vary greatly in spice level. When adding, I recommend starting with half and taste, adding more until you reach your desired heat level. If you add too much heat, add a bit more sugar to balance it out. The heat level will increase over time so keep that in mind if making for keep for the week in your fridge.

  • If you don't have seasoned rice wine vinegar on hand, you can substitute half/half rice vinegar and red wine vinegar - its such a small amount that it works and these two vinegars are much more common to have on hand in your pantry.

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