Pickled Cucumber Salad

Pickled Cucumber SaladSummer in Korea is quite hot and humid.  People often complain that they lost their appetite and looking for something that spikes up their lost appetite.

Cool, crunch, and slightly spicy and sweet, this pickled cucumber salad can stimulate the lost appetite in the hot summer. This is a very common summer side dish in any Korean table and it is very simple to make.


Pickled CucumberLook for air-vacuumed pickled cucumber in the refrigerate section of Korean stores. These cucumbers are pickled in simple salt, vinegar, sugar brine and ready to tackle with flavors you are going to add.


pickled cucumber saladSlice thinly.


Pickled Cucumber SaladYou want to soak them in the cold water for 10 minutes to dilute the brine solution a little.


Pickled Cucumber SaladSqueeze them to death, because you love her. But I don’t mean it literally. You know that, right?


Pickled Cucumber SaladAdd the Korean chili flakes, sugar, sesame oil, garlic powder, green onion, and sesame seeds.


Pickled Cucumber SaladMix all together with your hand. That’s all there’s to it!

For some wicked reason many Koreans like to eat this pickled cucumber salad with leftover rice dumped in cold water. I know it sounds weird to dump the rice in the cold water, but it is actually pretty good to eat that way with this salad.

This was my simple lunch and I was happy. And so was my stomach.


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Pickled Cucumber Salad

Pickled Cucumber Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8

Pickled Cucumber Salad


  • 1 lb (500g) Korean pickled cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Korean plum extract, optional
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Soak the cucumber slices in cold water for 10 minutes to dilute the brine a little. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.
  2. Place the cucumber slices in a mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredient, and toss well. Adjust the amount of sugar according to the sweetness you desire.
  3. Serve with rice.

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  1. 1

    bmint says

    Brings back memories of my childhood… I recently poured some water over my bowl of rice, and my two young children thought it was so funny. I had lost my appetite in the heat of the summer. I think I will go to the market and get some pickled cucumbers tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories and recipes.

    • 2


      So excited to hear that someone else knows about the pouring water over rice to enjoy this side dish! It does taste better that way for some weird reason, right?

      • 3

        bmint says

        Yes, I did prepare your pickled cucumber salad today and enjoyed it with a bowl of rice covered in water. My father used to call this kind of ban chan “rice thief” because it tastes so good and you keep eating. That’s comfort food for me. Thanks!

  2. 7


    Ah ha! So that’s what I can do with Korean pickled cucumbers! I always just serve them on the side plain, much like Western pickles – this is much more interesting! I found you through a comment you left on China Sichuan Food, it was your blog name that caught my eye, love it!! (especially as I have a huge weakness for Kimchi….it is the ultimate diet food, I could eat it all day every day!!)

    • 8


      Hi Nagi

      Yes, it will add a nice flavor to the ordinary pickled cucumber into something else. I do have a huge weakness for Kimchi as well, of course!

  3. 9


    I love those pickled cucumber very much especially in hot summer when I do not want to stay in my kitchen for a long time. And this is really inviting and appealing. We have very similar Sichuan style pickled vegetables but cucumber is not a common ingredient. I guess it will be super good when serving with rice or porridge.

  4. 11

    Laura says

    My mother and me both make this side dish with American pickles, too, and it tastes very good. We do not have a lot of markets near us that sell traditional Korean foods, so we just use what we have. It gives pickles a whole new delicious flavor that we enjoy.

    • 12


      Hi Laura, that is so neat that you used the American pickles for this recipe. Glad that it came out delicious. You are right! It gives a whole new delicious flavor to ordinary pickles.

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