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.

Leave your rating:

So far this is rated 5/5 from 98049 votes

Be the first to rate this.


  1. Hello Maangchi,

    I made oisobagi! It was so delicious. Tonight I am going to make radish soup with beef tonight. Next week I am going to make kimchi. I just want to say thank you for this wonderful site!

  2. Oi sobagi looks delicious. I’ll make it the next time I go to Zion Market.

  3. i was wondring the cucumber soup that you make is like the one my mom makes but sometimes she put noodles in hers and i remember they were white, can you tell me what the noodles are called? i think they are japanese noodles.

  4. Hi,
    I have follow your recipe, it is so easy, quick, and taste really good. I love it and will do again next time for my family.
    Thanks for great recipe ;)

  5. Joolsey& has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I made oisobagi with a different recipe and it is SO SALTY to the point of being bitter! Do you have any advice on how to lower the saltiness so that my batch will be edible? Thanks,


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      For salty oisobagi,I don’t have much advice.

      • fnwell joined 5/15 & has 1 comment

        I have seen several comments from folks who think the recipes are too salty. If you don’t use kosher salt, this is likely to happen. Ordinary table salt is almost twice as salty as kosher salt because of the way it is made and the shape of the crystals.
        Kosher salt is widely available but if you can’t get it, cut the amount of salt by 1/3 to 1/2.
        I hope this helps.

    • dulcismo Sydney joined 4/10 & has 2 comments

      Hello there:-D I made oisobagi and left it outside in the room temperature to ferment a little with Glad wrap over it because I thought it is Kimchi kind so that’s what I was meant to do, by the end of the day I realised that the cucumber water drained to the bottom of the dish and the salty taste has gotten milder in the evening! However I am planning to store them in the fridge because apparently cucumbers goes off too quick! My parents have had 5 of them with Barley rice and it was an awesome awesome recipe!!! Thank you sooo much Maangchi!>____<

  6. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    Good Morning Maangchi,
    I wanted to tell you about this wonderful thing that happened for me.
    My local dry cleaner is owned by a lovely Korean couple. I realized they were Korean after I had been watching you because the woman’s accent is much like yours. One day I greeted her with Anyounghasayyo
    I’ve learned how to say hello and goodbye from eating at Korean restaurants. This started us on many great discussions of food. She has shared tips and recipes with me and I run home and try them out.
    Yesterday she called and had made oisobagi and had saved a container for me. I was very touched by this gift. I took her a bunch of flowers from my garden (Peony) and learned they are called Moran. The husband told me the story of a soldier who writes to his love that he will return when the moran is in bloom and she waits for him every year. I am so happy to be making friends with these wonderful people and I want to thank you for helping open the door to knowing about Korea.
    I believe the foods of a culture are not just about flavor and nutrition, they are about tradition, respect, family roles, history and customs of the culture. In any study of food a person must be open to understanding the agriculture and customs of the country and it’s people. Then we can truly enjoy the flavors and textures.
    By the way her oisogabi was the best I’ve ever had. It was s perfect balance of sour and spicy.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      What a touching story! I can see you are a very open minded person! I totally agree with what you say, “I believe the foods of a culture are not just about flavor and nutrition, they are about tradition, respect, family roles, history and customs of the culture.”

  7. This is my favorite so far of all your recipes!

  8. hi!today i made the cocumber khimchi.your made it look’s
    so easy for us foreign to learn how to make korean fav.food.
    i always like khimchi.
    oh i know korean speak.now i study korean language.

  9. hi maangchi!..what can be a substitue for KOREAN CHIVES? if i don’t have korean chives.

  10. Maangchi, would the cucumber kimchi taste even better if it was fermented? And if so, how do you go about doing that? Do you just bury it in a container in the ground or something?

  11. Hi Maangchi,
    i was wondering why you take the bubbles out when the soup is boiling?
    my mom does the same thing, but i always forget to ask her why

    oh by the way im learning korean
    and it’s fun and very easy to learn

  12. Maangchi joined 7/08 & has 12,047 comments

    haha, you surprised your mother-in-law!

  13. Thank you so much for the Oisobagi kimchi recipe. My wife is Korean and I made this for my mother in law on her birthday. The whole family could not believe I made this. Your recipes and instructions are FABULOUS!

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Chris, you!!! : )
    I’m glad to hear about your successful oisobagi making!
    It looks awesome! I’m going to post it on my website so that others could see your oisobagi, too.

    You ran out stuffing while filling only half amount of your cucumber pieces? haha! I’m sure it won’t happen next time you make oisobagi.

  15. Looking just at the ingredients, I would have never thought I’d like this type of kimchi.

    I had all the ingredients, though, so I decided to give it a try. Wow! It’s delicious! I think I stuffed mine way too fat, or my cucumbers were too big, because I ran out of stuffing after only filling half my cucumbers.

    They don’t look as good as yours, but I decided to take a picture as proof of having made it.

    Now I have to worry that I won’t eat it all in one night. Thank you for posting the recipe!

    Yes, this is the Chris from your recent Toronto trip.)

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 3 4 5 6 7 11

Leave a Reply

You must create a profile and be logged in to post a comment.