Banchan is a fascinating aspect of the Korean cuisine. They are small side dishes they serve along every meal and they can be made from anything you can imagine. Today I am sharing you my recipe for one banchan: seasoned cucumber or oi muchim. (오이 무침).
Banchan (반찬) are a a fascinating aspect of the Korean cuisine. Banchan is a group of dishes that are served as side dishes with every meal. Banchan are normally placed in the middle of the table so they can be shared more easily by the diners. These side dishes are served in small amounts and are meant to be finished at the end of the meal. If they had not served enough served, more is given. It is common for formal dinners to have an overwhelming amount of different banchan while family dinners will just have a few banchan.
Banchan are made in large amounts as most of them have long lifespan. It is also a reason why I decided to look into banchan. Nothing makes your life easy if you can just take half your entire meal from the fridge without any need to cook it anymore. The first banchan I made, was oi muchim seasoned or cucumber (오이 무침).
Muchim the Oi Muchim
Muchim is the name of a group of banchan and refers to the preparation method. Muchim (무침) means seasoning or mixed in Korean. That means that the main preparation method for this group of side dishes is seasoning and/or mixing its focal ingredient. I have to admit that making it is quick, easy and actually quite fun. For oi muchim (오이 무침) the key ingredient is cucumber seasoned with some sesame oil, soy sauce and gochugaru.
Making Korean side dishes or banchan is very easy. Oi Muchim or seasoned cucumber (오이 무침) is a very easy Korean banchan to make and I am pretty good at it.
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Onion
- 2-3 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp Korean red chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1 tsp Sugar (optional)
- Slice the cucumber and onion into thin slices.
- Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, korean chili flakes and sesame seeds to make the seasoning.
- Mix the sliced cucumber and onion with the sauce well.
- Keep the oi muchim in the refrigerator inside a container and serve small portions during a meal.
You can add a bit of sugar if you need to sweeten the seasoning to your liking.
As with most Korean recipes, every family has its own recipe. Play around with this one to make it yours.