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. kamodd Russia joined 9/18 & has 3 comments

    As I see quantity of some ingredients different between book and post. But some are equal=) It made me thinking and make decision, thank you!

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  2. Ninaqhuynh Australia joined 2/19 & has 1 comment

    Thanks Maangchi! Made my first one. So good!

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  3. How long oikimchi will last?

  4. tobytt MALAYSIA joined 8/18 & has 2 comments

    Tried my best to prepare stuffed cucumber kimchi, i made 5 cucumber and kept in fridge. Consume it when it’s cold from fridge is very nice…

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  5. Vick_cf Texas joined 4/18 & has 5 comments

    I normally ferment my Oikimchi at least 3 days. It is still crisp in texture but a little more sour in taste. Thanks for the recipe! This is my fondest memory of Korea.

  6. Collinyu Taiwan joined 2/18 & has 5 comments

    오이소박이 done
    On cold Saturday morning

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  7. CalifornianInBarcelona Barcelona, Spain joined 10/16 & has 6 comments

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

  8. c0lours Toronto, Canada joined 5/17 & has 2 comments

    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

  9. JenKanG Malaysia joined 3/17 & has 1 comment

    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..

  10. JJNaftali Surabaya, Indonesia joined 12/14 & has 1 comment

    Can i fermented it?

  11. esthersy Anseong, Korea joined 11/16 & has 1 comment

    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!!!


  12. Jcabe1963 Coshocton, Ohio joined 9/16 & has 4 comments

    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?

  13. NabiLim Syria joined 9/16 & has 1 comment

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

  14. Anapingofness Ohio, USA joined 11/11 & has 3 comments

    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 & has 12,047 comments

      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.

  15. 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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