Spicy stuffed cucumber kimchi

Oisobagi kimchi 오이소박이 김치

Cucumber kimchi (oi-sobagi) 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 kimchi 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, and crunchy 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.

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!

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds kirby cucumbers (9 or 10 cucumbers) or 4 4½ inch long small, thin cucumbers.
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup buchu (Asian chives), chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup hot pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

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Directions

  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 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.

oi-sobagi

oi-sobagi

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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup short grain rice, 1 cup  barley

Directions

  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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215 Comments:

  1. CalifornianInBarcelona Barcelona, Spain joined 10/16
    Posted July 31st, 2017 at 8:03 pm | # |

    I made this and it was delicious Maangchi. Perfect for a hot summer day Thanks!

  2. c0lours Toronto, Canada joined 5/17
    Posted May 15th, 2017 at 10:02 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I made your oi-sobagi and it turned out SO delicious!! It’s my first time making kimchi and I was surprised at how easy it was! I used mini english cucumbers and green onions because I didn’t have kirby cucumbers or chives. My mom came home and was so surprised I made kimchi and even more surprised at how delicious it was! She had been craving the fresh kimchi taste for a while, so she was sooo happy! We are Korean btw :) I have made so many of your recipes so far, and have learned so much from you. Thank you Maangchi!! xoxo

  3. JenKanG Malaysia joined 3/17
    Posted March 16th, 2017 at 8:01 pm | # |

    Hi MaangChi,

    I tried cucumber kimchi, it’s crunchy while fresh like it, but after fermentation it become bitter? Also a lot of water inside and become soggy..

  4. JJNaftali Surabaya, Indonesia joined 12/14
    Posted February 10th, 2017 at 10:02 pm | # |

    Can i fermented it?

  5. esthersy Anseong, Korea joined 11/16
    Posted November 23rd, 2016 at 8:39 am | # |

    안녕하새요 Maangchi,

    I moved to Korea recently, and I’m trying to cook more foods at home. I would like to make this cucumber dish, but I can’t find fish sauce in the Korean markets. Can I substitute fish sauce with something else???

    Thanks a lot!!!

    Esther

  6. Jcabe1963 Coshocton, Ohio joined 9/16
    Posted September 29th, 2016 at 3:42 pm | # |

    Maangchi, I have a question. I love you kimchi recipes, but my husband doesn’t like the ground dry red pepper powder because of the “gritty” texture. Can I use crushed red pepper flakes instead or will this change the flavor?

  7. NabiLim Syria joined 9/16
    Posted September 4th, 2016 at 12:19 pm | # |

    Hello!
    Is it ok if I used gochujang instead of hot pepper flakes?

  8. Anapingofness Ohio, USA joined 11/11
    Posted May 20th, 2015 at 1:28 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi!
    Two great things happened yesterday.
    The first was that I finally made your oi-sobagi recipe! I couldn’t find buchu so I followed your suggestion to use scallions. I’m sure it would taste much better with buchu- I love the garlicy taste it has! Nevertheless, the oi-sobagi turned out great!
    Actually, my older sister was jealous because she cannot eat spicy food. (She loved your baek-kimchi recipe!)
    Do you know of a way to make oi-sobagi without the red pepper flakes? I considered adding red bell pepper for the color but I found myself a bit puzzled as to how to bind all of the stuffing together.
    But I digress- the second great thing that happened was that your cookbook arrived!
    I couldn’t wait to go through it and I was not disappointed. You and your team did a great job in breaking everything down and explaining it.
    It is only the third cookbook I own but I am excited to start using it!
    Keep up the great work!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 20th, 2015 at 4:44 pm | # |

      I’m glad you like my cookbook! You’re very ready to cook with the book.
      “Do you know of a way to make oi-sobagi without the red pepper flakes?” Well, you can do some experiment to make non-spicy but beautiful red color. I can’t think of any better idea than using real Korean gochugaru(hot pepper flakes). Freshly ground red bell pepper won’t stick to the cucumber. How about adding chopped red bell pepper to the stuffing? Chop it into tiny pieces and insert into the pocket of cucumber.

      • Anapingofness Ohio, USA joined 11/11
        Posted May 21st, 2015 at 12:09 am | # |

        I will experiment a bit after I finish this batch of oi-sobagi.
        If it turns out well, I’ll let you know so that others can try it as well. ^^

  9. tiggerization joined 5/10
    Posted December 6th, 2014 at 3:12 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I have been successfully making Kimchi (mostly from Napa cabbage) which I have left for ages to become nice and sour! But after one day or so, the Kimchi was nice, but not yet really sour though! I have had Kimchi in Korean restaurants that seemed to be self made, really fresh and still crunchy, but yet sour and tangy! How do they achieve that? Especially for cucumber Kimchi, as my cucumbers get soggy very quickly once they’re salted!
    Can you give me some hints?

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