Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad is a quick and easy side dish that goes well with almost any summer dish. If you’ve ever eaten at a Korean barbecue restaurant, you’ve probably had the pleasure of being presented with numerous little side dishes, called banchan. This cucumber salad is just one of many you can easily prepare at home.
When it gets really hot outside like it has been lately, I crave the little cold Korean side dishes called banchan. My last CSA Box included some lovely cucumbers, perfect for making a quick Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad “Banchan.”
Lately, I’ve been making a lot of little Korean side dishes using the fresh vegetables in my CSA Boxes, including a Quick Kohlrabi “Kim Chi” Salad, Korean Spinach Salad “Banchan,” and a Quick Vegetarian Napa Cabbage Kim Chi. I could make a whole meal out of banchan and a bowl of rice; in fact, that’s my favorite part of the meal whenever we eat at our local Korean restaurant. Korean meals can be accompanied by anywhere from 3, at its most basic, to 12 banchan (used in Royal Korean cuisine).
Banchan are very easy to prepare at home. The only trick is that if you want a variety of banchan to enjoy at a single meal, then you will have to spend a little more time preparing several of these little dishes.
Typically, banchan are single vegetable dishes that are quickly prepared, whether they are simply sauteed like Summer Squash or Zucchini “Banchan,” or marinated raw, like the Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad “Banchan” I made today. The Korean red pepper flakes used in Kim Chi and many banchan can be found at Asian grocery stores. Although the red pepper flakes I bought came in a rather large bag, I’ve been using them up pretty quickly with all the Kim Chi and banchan I’ve been making. I just love the bright red color of these red pepper flakes. Although they are spicy, they’re not as spicy as they look.
This Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad “Banchan” is quite spicy, so adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to suit your taste.
|Korean Red Pepper Flakes are a vibrant red, and a bit spicy.|
Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad
- 2 cucumbers thinly sliced (I prefer seedless cucumbers)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes use less if you don't want it too spicy
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon gochujang optional
- 1 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon organic sugar
Combine cucumbers and salt in a colander and place over a bowl or in the sink. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
Place salted cucumbers on a layer of paper towels and pat dry.
Combine red pepper flakes, rice vinegar, gochujang (if using), sesame seeds, garlic, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl.
Add cucumbers and toss well.
If you like this dish, you might like more Korean side dish “banchan” salads: