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Oi Namul (Cucumber Namul – 오이나물)

June 21, 2013

oi namul

Namul is the Korean macrobiotic way of using minimal spices and sauces to create yummy dishes with vegetables and weeds that grow in the fields. Namul dishes use very gentle seasoning, trying to appreciate the main ingredient’s natural flavor. Koreans make namul with literally everything, including spinach, radish, cucumber, bean sprouts, fern-bracken, perilla leaves… etc. You can read more about namul at my Chwi namul recipe post!

This is another one of the namul series – I’ve posted nine namul recipes so far, and this is the tenth namul post. Really, namul is probably the most “traditional Korean” dish that you can make! Korean cuisine make namul with literally everything. It’s summer and it’s easy to get good cucumber – so it’s time for some cucumber namul! Cucumber namul is always served at mountain restaurants that are close by to temples, as it is a very common temple side dish.

It’s soooo easy and yummy – satisfying with rice and other Korean food. And again, it’s always good in bibimbap as well!

Oi Namul (오이나물) Recipe! 


2-3 cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp perilla oil (or more to taste)
salt to taste
generous amount of sesame seeds


1. Wash and match stick the cucumbers.
2. Mix the three oils and add to medium high heat pan.
3. Stir fry until the cucumber gets fairly translucent. Don’t fry it too long as it will get mushy!
4. Season with salt and add more perrilla oil to taste.
5. Sprinkle a generous amount of sesames seeds , mix it well and enjoy!

oi namul

Match stick the cucumber!

oi namul

Mix the three oils. I like to have a generous amount of perilla oil.

oi namul

Stir fry it in medium high heat!

oi namul

Be generous with sesame seeds – a good source of calcium too! 😉

2013-06-21 10.38.54

Enjoy by mixing in the sesame seeds in well! So yummy and satisfying. And most of all, so easy and quick!!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda Croissant permalink
    June 21, 2013 1:52 pm

    Lovely… I can’t get perilla oil.. Can I suggest a substitute

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Sunnie permalink*
      June 21, 2013 3:11 pm

      Hi, Linda!

      People usually substitute sesame oil for the perilla oil, so you can just use the canola oil and perilla oil. It won’t be the same, but it’ll still be good. 😉

  2. June 23, 2013 9:13 pm

    Scrumptious…I will pass this recipe on to my daughters :).

  3. kennyfordham permalink
    June 26, 2013 5:27 pm

    Looks yummy, but seems like a lot of oil. Can it be made with less?

  4. July 1, 2013 12:04 pm

    I love cucumber so much, so thanks for this recipe. Sometimes I’ve made something like this but without cooking it; just salting the cuke lightly so it wilts and then mixing with sesame oil and sesame seeds. I bet this, along with kimchi and rice, would make a great light, summery meal. Maybe with some cubes of lightly fried, seasoned tofu. Mmm. 🙂

    • Sunnie permalink*
      July 1, 2013 1:18 pm

      Hi, Lu! I love cucumber so much too. Yes, that sounds like a really yummy summer dish… 🙂

  5. Erin permalink
    July 12, 2013 3:08 pm

    Thanks to your site, perilla oil has replaced za’atar as my current favorite go-to condiment. 😀

    • Sunnie permalink*
      July 12, 2013 8:11 pm

      Hi Erin!

      That is wonderful – so glad that you’re enjoying perilla oil. 😉

  6. September 5, 2013 10:06 pm

    Hey!! I discovered your blog today while searching Japchae, and wanted to thank you for the site! I’m a Korean vegan in university and am new to Korean vegan foods (I ate western style for many years, or meat-based meals), but your website is now a great resource for me! Thanks ❤

    • Bill permalink*
      September 6, 2013 4:20 pm

      That’s great, Stephanie. Glad it’s helpful for you. Thanks for removing meat from your diet and best of luck in University!

  7. Kristina permalink
    September 16, 2013 12:47 pm

    I’m really glad I came across your website. I’ve been loving Kdrama lately, and wanted to try to make some Korean food. I try to stick to a mostly vegan diet. So I was thrilled to find your website. This weekend I made Doenjang Jigae, Cucumber Namul for Friday’s dinner. Saturday I made Japchae, mung bean pancakes, and last night I made Bachelor Bap to go with the leftovers. Every single meal was DELICIOUS!! Thanks again!! I’m really looking forward to trying more of your recipies!!!

    • Bill permalink*
      September 16, 2013 2:04 pm

      That’s awesome, Kristina! You really jumped all in with our recipes, and we love it. 🙂 Thanks for letting us know how they turned out for you and hope you’re enjoying your Kdrama too. We’ve been enjoying The Good Doctor!

      • Kristina permalink
        September 17, 2013 2:13 pm

        I’ll have to watch that one next!! 🙂

  8. Dave permalink
    October 17, 2013 9:06 am

    Hi Sunnie,

    Thanks for this recipe, I will look forward to trying it out soon (minus the canola oil). I love Korean food and its so nice to find a site with simple ingredients. Glad I found your site!


    • Sunnie permalink*
      October 18, 2013 4:22 pm

      Sounds great! Thanks for finding us, Dave! 😉

  9. February 15, 2014 4:06 pm

    looks wonderful!

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