Kentucky Korean Pickles (Oi Muchim) | Recipeish | Gustus Vitae

Kentucky Korean Pickles (Oi Muchim) | Recipeish | Gustus Vitae

  • Yield: 1 full mason jar.
  • Time Estimate: about 45 minutes, with 30 unattended.
  • Storage Notes: Will keep for up to 2 days in a the fridge.
  • Difficulty: Easy. Trouble is in not eating them before you serve 'em.

Korean food tends to come with a whole bunch of small side dishes, usually small pickled things that take the edge off sweet, or heavily savory, or really rich flavors. Our favorite is oi muchim - a spicy, garlicky pickle that pairs (and both compliments and contrasts) well with just about any asian dish, and is one of those craveable snacks that's hard to keep the fridge.

This is our Americanized version - we've replaced the classic gochugaru paste with our Sweet & Spicy Kentucky Kick seasoning - and we like it even better, adding a bit of twang and somehow even more savory depth to this Korean classic.

We promise: make this easy recipe at home once, and you won't go back to dill pickles again.

Add these to sandwiches, make a salad pop, or do as the Koreans do and serve in a small side dish with a rich meal for a welcome shot in the arm of acidity, brightness, and heat to cleanse your palate.


  • 7-10 small Persian cucumbers
  • 1 full tin Sweet & Spicy Kentucky Kick
  • 1/2 oz fish sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 oz rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 oz sesame oil
  • 1.5 oz white sesame seeds
  • Rinse cucumbers and slice off ends. Cut diagonally into chunks, around 1/2".
  • In a large bowl, combine cucumber slices with almost the full tin of Sweet & Spicy Kentucky Kick. Using your hands, mix this around for 2-3 minutes. The salty, spicy mix will naturally cause the cucumber slices to start weeping their liquid out: this is good.
  • Shift cucumbers to a colander, and place over a surface they can leak on/into, be it the bowl you originally used or the sink.
  • Arrange cucumbers into a uniform, largely flat layer, and cover with a piece of saran, parchment paper, or tinfoil.
  • Weigh down with whatever you have on had - we just use a couple cans of soup. The idea is to press out the cucumber liquid as much as possible, without crushing or damaging the cucumber slices themselves.
  • Leave for 30 minutes.
  • Meantime, use a cheese grater to grate garlic and combine with fish sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and sesame seeds, whisking with a fork to combine.
  • In a new bowl, combine sauce with strained cucumber slices, mixing well to combine. 
  • Refrigerate until cool, and serve.
  • A 10% snack-tax right after making them is universally understood and accepted.

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