This cold cucumber soup — oi naengguk — is very simple to make, but incredibly refreshing. It’s perfect for a hot day when you just want to cool off and not spend much time in the kitchen.
Oi Naengguk (Cold Cucumber Soup) — 오이 냉국
- 2 small cucumbers (like Kirby cucumbers, which are used for pickling) OR 1/2 large, seedless, gourmet cucumber (like an English cucumber)*
- 4 c. water
- dash of Korean red pepper powder**
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce***
- 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seed
- 1 Tbsp. chopped green onion (or scallions)
*The key is to look for a cucumber type with very small seeds. I used an English cucumber, which is longer and narrower than a regular cucumber and has smaller seeds. See photo above.
**To make this recipe gluten free, I used San-J Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (available at Whole Foods or for $6.69 + shipping on Amazon.com.)
***You can find plastic bags or canisters of Korean red pepper powder (called gochugaru in Korean) at Asian grocery stores or on Amazon.com for about $13 a pound. Gochugaru‘s consistency is between a coarse powder and a fine flake, so it is sometimes called red pepper powder or hot pepper powder and sometimes called red chili flakes. See photo above.
- Slice cucumbers into matchstick-shaped pieces.
- Place cucumber pieces in bowl and marinate in sauce ingredients about 30 minutes.
- Add 4 c. cold water to the cucumber mixture to make soup.
- Season with red pepper powder and serve.
NOTE: I threw in some mushroom pieces since I had some left over. You can see them in the top photo. But the recipe does not call for mushrooms.
[Recipe from “Korean Cooking”, an out-of-print cookbook created by the Korean Institute of Minnesota.]