Oi Naengguk is a classic Korean cold cucumber soup. The light and refreshing taste of fresh cucumbers and seaweed in a chilled savory broth is perfect for hot summer days.

Korean cold cucumber soup in a bowl with ice cubes.

When the summer heat is scorching, cold dishes like chilled cucumber soup are true lifesavers. I love Korean cold cucumber soup called Oi Naengguk (오이냉국).

You can make this refreshing soup with just cucumbers, but I like to jazz it up with a bit of rehydrated seaweed. Because, why not?

The soft texture of seaweed contrasts nicely with the crunchiness of cucumber. The slightly sweet and sour broth is incredibly refreshing.

Korean Cold Cucumber Soup is the perfect summer side dish. It’s light, refreshing, and low in calories. It takes only about 15 minutes from start to finish, so you’ll be cooling down faster than an ice cube in the sun. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Cucumber: Korean cucumbers work best, but any cucumbers with tender skin, like English or Persian cucumbers, will also do.
  • Dried Seaweed (Miyeok): This particular seaweed looks like long, thin ribbons. It’s great for making soups like Korean seaweed soup or seaweed egg drop soup.
    • You can find packaged dried miyeok in any Korean or Asian market. You can also substitute with Wakame (Japanse chopped seaweed)
  • Dried Sea Kelp (Dashima): Used to add umami flavor as a soup base.
  • Mineral Water: I recommend using mineral water for the best flavor in the soup base.
  • Korean Chili Flakes (Gochugaru): Adds a hint of heat to the dish. You can omit it if you prefer a non-spicy version.
  • Vinegar: Traditionally, white vinegar is used. Any mild, translucent vinegar will work great.
  • Korean Soup Soy sauce (Gukganjang): Provides an umami taste and seasons the soup.
  • Garlic: Adds a hint of zing and flavor.
  • Sugar: Balances the sweetness.
  • Green Onion, Sesame Seeds: Adds additional savory notes to the dish.

How to make Korean cold cucumber soup

Sea Kelp Soup Base

Soaking dried sea kelp in water.

Soak a large piece of dried sea kelp in a bowl of water. Mineral water is preferred. This will be your soup stock base.

Soak Miyeok Seaweeds

Dried seaweed in a bowl of water.

In another bowl of cold water, soak miyeok seaweed and wait 10-15 minutes.

Dried seaweed rehydrated in water.

Voila! The seaweed will quadruple its volume. Discard and squeeze out the excess water. If the seaweed strands seems to long for a bite, then simply cut up to adjust the size!

Season the Seaweed

Dried seaweed and seasonings for make oi nanengguk.

Combine the seaweed with garlic, Korean soy sauce for soup, chili flakes, sugar, and vinegar and toss together.

Complete the Cucumber Soup

A ladle holding Korean cold seaweed soup.

Add the sliced cucumber, green onion, and toasted sesame seeds. Pour the sea kelp stock into the mixture  as much as you want and mix them up. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.

You can make it ahead of time, up to a couple of hours, and chill it in the fridge until ready to serve. That’s it! Oh, and don’t forget to add a few ice cubes to keep it even colder. Enjoy!

What to Pair with Korean cucumber soup

Oi Naengguk is typically served as a side dish and pairs well with a variety of meals. Here are some great options:

  • Bibimbap: A mixed rice bowl with vegetables, meat, and a spicy sauce.
  • Grilled Meat (Bulgogi or Galbi): The refreshing soup complements the savory and often spicy flavors of grilled meats.
  • Kimbap: Korean seaweed rice rolls that are light and easy to eat.
  • Pajeon: Korean savory pancakes, especially seafood or vegetable ones.
  • Rice: Simply served with a bowl of steamed rice and a variety of banchan (side dishes)

More Korean Summer Side Dishes

Korean cold seaweed cucumber soup

Korean Cold Cucumber Soup (Oi Naengguk)

Oi Naengguk is a classic Korean cold cucumber soup. The light and refreshing taste of fresh cucumbers and seaweed in a chilled savory broth is perfect for hot summer days.
5 from 2 ratings

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Soak the sea kelp in mineral water and set aside.
  • Soak the dried seaweed cuts in cold water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess water. Cut to smaller size if needed.
  • Place the seaweed in a large bowl, add the soy sauce for soup, sugar, vinegar, garlic, chili flakes, and sesame seeds; Mix well.
  • Add the cucumber and green onion to the seaweed mixture. Pour the sea kelp stock and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning for your liking.
  • Note: You can make it ahead of time, up to a couple of hours, and chill it in the fridge until ready to serve. That's it! Oh, and don't forget to add a few ice cubes to keep it even colder. Enjoy!
Calories: 49kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 98mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 251IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.

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