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!





  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.



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.



  1. Hi Maangchi-

    Thanks for the recipe. This is the time of too many cucumbers, and I thought cucumber kimchi might be possible. So your recipe came to the rescue and we really love it. I used Turkish Aleppo pepper since its a little toned down from typical hot pepper flakes.

    Here's a link to our site:

    Mark & Georgie

  2. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    You still can eat them. It sometimes happens to me, too. I think it’s from not fresh cucumbers.

    Koreans usually don’t ferment cucumber kimchi and eat it fresh though.

  3. Hi Maangchi,

    After two days of fermentation, the flavors were just perfect! However, a lot of liquid developed and the cucumbers were sitting in the liquid and turned into mush after one day in the refrigerator. Help! :(

  4. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    I usually use “Tae yang cho” hot pepper flakes or “Wang pyo”. I have never used “Tae gyung nong san”‘s hot pepper flakes. It should be smokey smell.

  5. Hi Maangchi,

    The Oi Sobagi turned out wonderful! The only things was that there was a hint of “smokey” red pepper taste. Do you think it could be the brand of Gochugaru that I use?

    As with Gochujang and Kanjang, different brands produce a slightly different flavor…some are more salty and some more sweet. I use Tae Kyung Nong San Gochugaru. I personally love this brand for cooking. Do you think I should buy the Gochugaru brand you recommend for making kimchi?

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    Hi,salty oisobagi maker!
    : ) Salty kimchi or oisobagi would not ferment easily. So I recommend taking out the oisobagi from the refrigerator and keep in at room temperature. I don’t know exactly how long it will take for it to ferment. It would depend on how salty it is.

  7. Hi again Maangchi!!! I finally opened my oi sobagi last week to try it and I ran into a problem, it was far too salty (I think I used a lot more salt than the recipe asked for ^^”), and also I found that it did not ferment very much because it wasn’t sour yet, but I left it in the fridge for almost a week! I remember buying oi sobagi from the store before that was sour and fermented which my family loved (we prefer sour kimchi), but the Korean market does not have it anymore, so I need to make it at home. Could you please recommend some tips as to how to make the oi sobagi ferment and become sour?? Thank you!

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    Hello 3 squares, (can’t read your id and only I can see 3 squares. : ) )

    I envy you that you have lots of asian chives(bu chu) in your backyard.

    Making buchu kimchi is very very simple.

    Wash and drain your buchu and cut it into bite size about 7 cm in length and then sprinkle some salt (not much)
    Make kimchi paste by mixing fish sauce, hot pepper flakes(1/3 amount of hot pepper flakes for regular chinese cabbage kimchi), and some sugar.
    Mix the paste with buchu and put it into a container and seal it tightly.

    You won’t need to add garlic.

    hope good luck with your making buchu kimchi. : )

  9. Wah! Thank you so much for the recipe Maangchi!!! I absolutely LOOOOVE oisobagi kimchi, so I always wanted to learn how to make it!!! =D Thank you, thank you!!!

    Also, I was wondering if I could request you do a recipe on puchu kimchi because I went to gather some chinese chives in my garden for the oisobagi, but I still have too much chives leftover, and I don’t want it to go to waste, so I was wondering if you please do a recipe on puchu kimchi sometime!! Thanks!!

  10. Hi can I use zucchini instead?Which type of cucumber are you using?Thanks!

  11. 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 http://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2548487282/

    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!

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 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.

  13. 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 :)

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 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.

  15. 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!

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2 3 4 5 11

Leave a Reply