Oi naengguk is one of the Korean people’s most beloved summer soups. After working under the sizzling sun in the fields, people in our parents’ generation used to drink this fresh cucumber soup at snacktimes and mealtimes as if it were water. These days, we don’t have to sweat as much as our parents’ generation did, so recipes for this soup have gotten sweeter and sweeter. But what I remember from my grandma’s recipe, she simply added Joseon ganjang to the thinly shredded cucumber and water. Simple and delicious. Remembering her recipe, here is a delightful, refreshing and Korean summer cucumber gazpacho which we made almost everyday while we were preparing this website (and it’s Sonja’s favorite summer recipe).
1 Korean oi (20–25cm long cucumber*)
ice made with 500ml of water
2 tbsp Joseon ganjang
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp roasted sesame seed
2 tbsp korean yangjo vinegar (or brown rice vinegar)
4 cloves garlic, minced
*If you’re in the States and can’t get Korean cucumbers, try to use English cucumbers and not the fat waxed cucumbers with thick skin.
1. Julienne the cucumber as finely as possible (think matchsticks)
2. Mince the garlic
3. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
4. Serve ice-cold. Enjoy!