I needed a side dish to go along with the bulgogi I made earlier this week, and this cucumber salad recipe sounded so good! My husband and I both love cucumber and wanted to try this Korean version. Not only did it sound good, but it also sounded like it would be quick and easy to make with the bulgogi. I mean, no cooking involved, it’s full of cucumber, and it’s a little spicy? Sold!
A simple light Korean cucumber side dish that’s like a salad. Very light seasoning allows the cucumber flavor to stand out.
There weren’t a lot of ingredients needed to make this cucumber salad. I even had a few in my pantry like soy sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar. That left a few items to buy, and I found all but the Korean red chili powder (gochugaru) at my regular grocery store. The gochugaru was easy to find online, though, and I excitedly placed an order for a new chili powder because I love spicy food!
I made my Korean cucumber salad while the meat for my bulgogi was marinating. I expected it to be quick, but I was shocked when it took me all of six minutes from start to finish. No, that’s not a typo, the salad was done in six minutes. I think using my mandoline to slice the cucumber really sped things up (I used the thickest setting for the slices). The rest was mostly measuring ingredients and stirring the salad together.
I did double up on the chili powder. Like I mentioned, I love spicy food. The original amount didn’t seem spicy to me at all. I found double gave me a little pop of spice without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.
Once the salad was mixed up and the seasonings adjusted, I popped it into the refrigerator so the cucumber could absorb the dressing while I cooked the bulgogi to go with it. What a combination!