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. Hi Maangchi, I just made your cucumber kimchi and it turned out soo tasty. I can’t get the little pickle cucumbers so I chopped big ones into chunks and mixed them with the paste (this is how my mother always did it too) and it turned out great! The spice mixture was just perfect. I took a photo

    I hope maybe one day you can make kalguksu, it is my favourite Korean dish. My mother used to make it for me whenever I felt sick and when I try and make it now it’s never quite right. I’m sure you’d make it perfectly :) Thanks for the recipes!

  2. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    oh, I’m very happy to hear that your kimchi was successful!
    Korean style potato salad! Sure I will include it in my list of upcoming cooking videos.

  3. H maangchi!!
    i really love your recipes!. I followed your recipe for Kimchi, and it turned out so good! If you have time,can you show me how to make korean style potato salad? the one w/ apple, cucumber,and other veggies in it. I really love it but i can’t find any recipes that’s good enough. Thank youu so much! you youtube videos are awsome :)

  4. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Use green onions if you can’t find the asian chives. I sometimes make oisobagi just using green onions and it’s still good.

  5. Hi Maangchi!

    I’m really interested in making Oisobagi kimchi! But I have a problem: I don’t have Korean chives. It is very hard for me to get asian ingredients in my area. So is there a good substitution for this ingredient? Will it come out okay if I don’t use it? Thanks!

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    You are absolutely right. I believe that the radish soup is helping your stomach settle down. : ) A huge bowl of hot radish soup with a little rice, that’s what you need when you feel like haivng a cold or upset stomach. cucumber kimchi, soybean side dish..all sound like healthy food.

  7. Hi Maangchi,

    I made the beef and radish soup for lunch today. I wasn’t feeling very well and I wanted something simple. It was the perfect thing to settle my stomach. I had it with white + brown rice (instead of barley rice) and the soybean side dish. Too bad my oiso bagi were gone! Thanks for the recipe. The chicken recipe you posted today looks AMAZING!

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    hi, beansprout soup lover, : )
    Yes, kong na mool soup is good for hangover. I will make it some day.
    Thank you!!

  9. Hi Maangchi,

    Could you teach us how to make bean sprout soup? I heard it is a very good soup when you have handover. Thanks

  10. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    tonight I’m going to make bulgogi, so I will post the picture on my blog for you. This bulgogi I will make is very easily made. Check out my blog later.

  11. Hi Maangchi!

    Another good tip which I may be putting into use after my housemate’s birthday party this weekend. Thank you!

    I don’t know if someone had already asked for you to cook bulgogi in your show but if no one has requested it yet, may I request for it? Bulgogi was the first Korean dish I was able to taste and it was delicious. I’d like to learn how to make it from you.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jo Rose

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    I received the picture of your bibimbap the other day. It looks very colorful and delicious as well. Thank you very much!
    I may use the picture later for my blog.

    Radish soup is good, right? I recommend having it when you have hangover. : )

  13. Hi!

    I made the radish soup today. It was easy to make and it tasted good, too! Btw, I already sent you some pictures of the bibimbap on your email address. :)

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Now you can make “oi sobagi”!
    ok, I’m looking forward to your dduk bok kie update. : )
    Thanks a lot!

  15. I went to my favorite Korean restaurant last night, which is part of a grocery store. At the check-out they had a tray full of containers of oisobagi kimchi! I asked the woman there about the kimchi and she said they just made it. I can’t wait to try it, but I am soooo full from my dinner (a hot stone bowl full of rice, veggies and egg–delicious!). I got the ingredients for duk bok kie this weekend–I’ll let you know how they turn out!

  16. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Hi, Agasuka
    You are funny! Did you soak the beans for 8 hours? If it’s too hard for you, I suggest soaking 10 – 12 hours then. : )
    Best cucumbers for oi sobagi kimchi is cucumbers for pickles with thin skin. I showed the cucumber kimchi in jja jang myun video.

  17. The skin of the cucumber feels very waxy to me. I don’t want to eat any additives from the skin, so I peel the skins off.

    The black bean Kong Jang is very tiring to chew. It may be because of the one year old black bean, or it may be because of my old weak teeth. I am becoming an Oeo Meo Ni.

    By the way, it’s getting very warm here now it reaches 20 C in the day. Cucumber is on sale this week, only 50 cents each!

    Let’s have Oisobagi festival!

  18. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    oh, I forgot to answer your question! You can keep it in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Not like cabbage kimchi, we usually eat “oisobagi” within the first week. Good work!

  19. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Kongjang looks terrific! Is there any reason for peeling the skin of the cucumbers? If you are ok, who would care! But I have never seen “Oi sobagi” without skin before. ; )


    I made both Oisobagi kimchi and Kong Jang.

    My Oisobagi is not as pretty as yours, since I peeled their skin off.

    How long can the oisobagi stay in the fridge?

  21. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Thank you for your nice comment.
    Keep checking my site. You will have fun if you are interested in korean cooking. : )

  22. Hi Maangchi,
    You are so adorable in your videos:) Thanks so much for posting these shows on how to cook Korean food. You make everything look so easy. I am really inspired to learn how to cook. Please keep up the great work.

  23. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    gamja jorim (cubed potatoes with brown sweet glaze)
    sure, I will include it in the list of my upcoming cooking videos.

  24. Hi Maangchi, i’m so happy to have found your website as I enjoy Korean food very much. I was wondering when will you show us how to make gamja jorim (cubed potatoes with brown sweet glaze) banchan? My bro loves it and he so wants me to make some for him.

    Thank you so much for your recipes.

  25. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Check this video.
    He is showing korean ingredients in his video.
    When you go to a korean grocery, tell the owner you are looking for
    “go choo gaa roo”(hot pepper flakes). It’s sold in a package and my favorite brand name is “Tae Yang Cho”

  26. Hi:Maangchi:
    Thank you for sharing so many wonderful recipes.
    I went to local supermarket for chilly powder. But I found there are lots of different kinds chilly powders. I am not sure which one is more close to the one you use
    Would you please give me some ideas because there is no Korean groceries store in my area. Thank you!

  27. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Korean radish is used for so many dishes. I envy you that you have garden to grow vegetables.

    Yes, I know these days are not cucumber season. I usually finish eating cucumber kimchi in a few days after making. I love fresh “Oee sobagi” : )


  28. Thanks again Maangchi for posting this and letting me know! I can’t wait until cucumber season. I am eagerly planning my garden to include lots and lots of them!

    I also love radishes, but don’t know many recipes other than pickling them or eating them fresh, so the soup is a great idea. Take care,


  29. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    I am planning to make soon doo bu for my next video. Thanks,

  30. Hi Maangchi,

    I love Soon doo bu, too! How about share your recipe with us as soon as possible:)? Such as beef stew, seafood stew…Moreover, I think maybe different retaurants serve different kinds of flavors on this stew?

    Your cooking video is probably the best one in YouTube.

    We all thank you so much:)

  31. Deborah Toronto, ON joined 4/09 & has 47 comments

    that looks delicious!! it’s so cold these days.. i’m thinking about soon dubu (and gamjatang) again! :)

  32. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    hi, maureen,
    You should press slightly with your hand while stuffing it at the same time. Check the video, please.

  33. How do you keep everything from falling out of the cucumbers? I can never keep them properly stuffed.

  34. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Ok, I will keep your request for “soon doo bu” in mind.
    Thanks a lot

  35. Hi Maangchi. I love your recipes. I am a vegetarian and was wondering if you could share with us the recipe for Soon Dubu( spicy tufu soup).
    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.

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