Spicy stuffed cucumber kimchi

Oisobagi kimchi 오이소박이 김치

Cucumber kimchi (oi-sobagi or oi kimchi) is made by turning a cucumber into a pocket and stuffing it with vegetables and kimchi paste. It’s delicious and refreshing and it’s a great quick cucumber kimchi recipe to make when cucumbers are in season and you don’t feel like waiting for your kimchi to ferment. You can eat this right away: they’re cool, spicy, have a crunchy texture and go well with beef and radish soup. Cucumber kimchi is a good example of a kimchi that doesn’t have to be fermented to be great.

If you’re interestied in making more cucumber side dishes, you can check out my oi muchim (quick, simple, cucumber salad) recipe and my cucumber pickles (oijangajji) recipe. And if you like this oi-sobagi you should definitely try my traditional cabbage kimchi recipe too!

It’s  been a very popular recipe on my website ever since I first posted it. However my original video used copyright-protected music (‘A Message to You, Rudy’ by The Specials), and the sound was recently removed by the copyright holder. Many people have been asking me to remake the video, so with cucumbers in season it’s a good time to do it. Enjoy the updated video!



  1. Wash the cucumbers. Make pockets out of them by slicing them twice lengthwise at right angles, ½ inch from one end so the cucumber quarters are still connected to each other at the end.oisobagioi-sobagi
  2. Put them in a big bowl, and sprinkle and rub them with salt inside and out. Let them sit for 10 minutes on the kitchen counter, and then turn them over so they’re evenly salted. Then turn them over and let them sit another 10 minutes.cucumber kimchi
  3. Rinse the cucumbers in cold water a couple of times to remove excess salt. Drain and set aside.
  4. Combine buchu (Asian chives), carrot, hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Stuff the seasoning paste into the cucumber pockets. If you have sensitive skin, you can wear rubber gloves for this because the paste might irritate your hands.oisobagioisobagi seasoningoisobagi stuffing
  6. Serve immediately as a side dish for rice, and keep the leftovers in a sealed container or jar in the refrigerator. If you prefer it to be fermented a bit more, let the container sit at room temperature for a couple of days until it smells and tastes sour. Then put it into the fridge. Serve cold.



My original video shows how to make barley rice. Eventually I’ll make a videos for this, too, but in the meantime here’s the recipe:

Barley Rice


  • 1 cup short grain rice, 1 cup  barley


  1. Combine rice and barley rice in a heavy pot.
  2. Wash and drain a couple of times. Drain water as much as you can and add 2½ cups water.
  3. Cover and let it sit at least 30 minutes.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Open the lid and turn the rice over with a rice scoop or spoon.
  6. Simmer it over low heat for another 10 minutes.
  7. Fluff with a rice scoop to remove excess steam. Serve immediately with side dishes.

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  1. dlwahine California joined 3/23 & has 1 comment

    This recipe is sooo good and so easy! How long can you keep these in the fridge?

  2. Ethaninthekitchen Pittsburgh, PA joined 9/22 & has 3 comments

    I am a big fan of cucumber kimchi, and when I saw some great cucumbers at the farmers market, I knew I had to try this recipe. My local Korean grocery was out of buchu, but the lovely owners told me that they use scallions in place of buchu for oi-sobagi, and it worked so well!!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    See full size image

  3. georgette Barcelona joined 9/22 & has 1 comment

    Hi Mangchi and everyone!
    I already tried a lot of your recipes but never this one and it’s so easy but also so so delicious :)
    Sorry but I have to ask, I changed the fish sauce for that really small fermented little shrimps because didn’t had fish sauce, is bad or any trouble with that?
    Thank you for all your recipes!!!

  4. Kingsland Orange County, CA joined 3/22 & has 1 comment

    I love your videos, they are so easy to follow and your explanations are great.
    I’ve made your oisobagi recipe many times and it’s delicious each time. One of my Korean patients
    mentioned that she uses Persian cucumbers instead of Kirby as they retain their crunchiness better (than Kirbies). I think they (Persians) are too skinny
    to hold all of the goodies that are stuffed into cucumbers. That, and I’ve never seen Persian cucumbers in any of your postings so I’m curious,
    What do you think?

    Thank you in advance,
    Kim Kingsland

  5. piperjohn3 NYC joined 12/11 & has 10 comments

    I had forgotten how impossibly good these are and a snap to make using a mandoline for the carrots. I used high quality Vietnamese fish sauce (Red Boat) and they were so delicious I ended up eating half a double batch while watching election results. The rest are happily fermenting at room temperature but I fear their fermenting days are numbered!

  6. Bebe602 Hong Kong joined 4/14 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi,

    Can I put this Cucumber Kimchi immediately in the fridge to ferment in the fridge instead of leaving them at room temperature for 2 days to ferment first before putting into the fridge .
    Thank You !

  7. MaangchiLove Montreal, Toronto joined 8/19 & has 53 comments

    Made them last night, Maangchi!

    See full size image

  8. Poutysquid8 San Diego, CA joined 1/19 & has 3 comments

    Can we use Korean cucumbers for this?

    Thanks maangchi!

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