Korean sauteed cucumber namul

Stir-fried Cucumbers (Oyi Namul)

Cucumbers are slightly pickled before being stir-fried, giving them a wonderfully crunchy and chewy texture. And the raw cucumber taste is nicely smoothed out by the cooking process.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Keyword gluten free, mild, sauteed, simple, summer
KoreanCategory Namul (나물)
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 148 kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 1 cucumber (Korean, English or Persian)
  • 1 tsp sea salt for pickling (per 1 cup of sliced cucumbers)
  • 2 Tbs Korean seasoned ground beef (optional)

Quick recipe for Korean seasoned ground beef:

  • 1/3 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (Kikkoman)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp rice cooking wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Cut the cucumbers into 1/8 inch thick slices. I usually don’t emphasize the thickness but it’s kind of important here because how well the cucumbers pickle will depend on the correct thickness. Too thin, and it will actually rip apart when you squeeze it later. Too thick, and it will take a long time to pickle. And try to cut with even thickness throughout so they all pickle evenly.
  2. Put the sliced cucumbers in a bowl. Sprinkle the sea salt and toss the cucumbers to make sure the salt is evenly distributed. Let it sit for 5-7 minutes until the cucumbers are easily bendable without breaking.
  3. You can reheat the leftover already cooked, seasoned ground beef in a pan on medium heat. If you don’t have any leftovers, just season some ground beef (use my recipe above) and stir fry it in a pan on medium high heat until the beef is all cooked.
  4. If you like mushrooms, you can also add some sliced mushrooms to the ground beef. When the beef is nice and hot, turn the heat off and let it wait until you get the cucumber ready.

  5. Squeeze out excess water from the cucumbers. You can just take a handful in your hands and squeeze the water out as much as you can (the more you squeeze the liquid out, the crisper the cucumbers will be). You can also use a cheese cloth to wring out the liquid.

  6. Put the cucumbers in the cheese cloth and wrap it into a ball. Hold one end with your left hand and the ball shaped end with your right hand (if you are right handed) and twist the liquid out (like you wring out water from your clothes).
  7. Add these squeezed, pickled cucumbers into the pan and stir fry the beef and the cucumbers together for 2 min or so on medium high heat. You don’t want to cook the cucumbers too long. Just long enough for them to lose their raw taste. Sprinkle some crushed roasted sesame seeds and serve.

Recipe Notes



Nutrition Facts
Stir-fried Cucumbers (Oyi Namul)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 148 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 32mg1%
Potassium 232mg7%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 80IU2%
Vitamin C 2.3mg3%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.