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. Yukihana& has 2 comments

    Annyeonghihaseyo Maangchi-sshi,

    I luv Korean food n Kpop! I made this n it turned out extremely well!(if I may say so myself!! :P)This is definitely a keeper for me. Thanks!! I wonder if you can teach how to make the sweet rice in pumpkin please??(I saw it in Family Outing)Thank you :)

  2. yum i like this one too. it had a Very fresh super crunchy taste to it. deliciousss.

  3. Hi Maangchi,
    Luv ur site!! I hav tried a lot of the recipes that u’ve posted n have been very successful!! I made the oisobagi n it’s one of my fav! I’ve seen on Family Outing(I’m a Kdrama/Kvariety addict!:p)n they were making some sticky rice then steaming it in a hollowed out pumpkin. I was wondering if u can kindly let me know it’s Korean name or post the recipe here pls? Thks so much! Merry Christmas n Happy New Yr!

  4. I love your website! Thank You Maangchi, your food tastes great!!!

  5. Hey Maangchi,

    I’m going to prepare cabbage kimchi. Can I use the porridge for the cabbage kimchi vor cucumber kimchi, too?
    Or is it too different?
    Have you ever tried?

    Greetings from Germany,


  6. what i do have are leeks and green onions, can i put the leeks instead? will it make a difference in taste?

  7. maangchi,
    i can’t find any chives, do i need to put it in? if so, what are other alternatives…?

  8. Wow this is great. I love all kinds of kimchi.
    I was just wondering if I need to stuff the cucumber or if I can just slice the cucumber into bite sized pieces and mix it with the kimchi sauce. Would slicing the cucumbers first make a difference?

  9. hi maangchi! love ur recipes so much and i tried making these just now and after stuffing it, i put it straight to the fridge( in airtight container), about 5 hours later, i noticed there’s some juices coming out and i got rid of that right away (tasted it and it was salty)..is that normal? just curious.. anyway, thanks so much for you super great recipes..!! keep ’em coming..=DD

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

      Yes, it’s very normal. Don’t worry much about the liquid. When you salt your cucumber, the salt draws out water from the cucumber. When I make my oisobagi, I eat it in a few days. I don’t like to wait until it’s fermented.

  10. Hi Maangchi ,
    thank you for your great work and the time you spent to post those videos, regarding this recipe of the stuffed cucumber can I use soy sauce instead of fish sauce?

  11. I had cucumber kimchi at a restaurant and it was delicious. But their’s was sliced cucumber, not stuffed like what your recipe has. Do you know how to make it like that?

  12. Im was going to go out to dinner, change of plans!

  13. Hi. how long can you keep the oisobagi in the refrigerator? I made a lot and want to eat it all before it goes bad.

  14. I didn’t add quite as much salt to my oi sobagi but I added the recommended amount of 3 crabs fish sauce. It turned out great and it’s pretty spicy. Now I feel accomplished.

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