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. dodobrowns Germany joined 4/11 & has 4 comments

    Maangchi, you should add Beef Dashida to the soup….world of difference in flavor! Looks great!

    I usually fry the garlic, beef, radish in sesame oil then add water. After its boiling I add the green onion before I serve.

    That’s the great thing about Korean cooking….there is no one way to make delicious Korean food!

  2. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09 & has 89 comments

    I made this today–the whole meal–and it was great. My husband was craving kalbi tang and oisobaegi and I was very excited to see this simple beef/radish soup that has some flavors reminiscent of kalbi tang. My son loved it. He was putting big spoonfuls in his mouth and saying “MMMMM…MMMMMM”. I’m very happy to find another simple soup that I can make quickly and the cucumbers tasted great–better than any oisobaegi I remember eating in Korea.

  3. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    I just made this – it is delicious! Photos coming next :)

  4. luppul joined 12/10 & has 1 comment

    will it have a sour taste?
    i am trying to make cucumber kimchi as i had tasted very nice one from Hong Kong’s Korean Street.
    The one they sold are sour and a bit spicy, i am thinking is this the way they make it.

    Please help :)

  5. jeanster Singapore joined 8/10 & has 9 comments

    Thank you for this fantastic recipe! The taste of fresh oisobagi really makes me go on cloud nine!! :) :) :)

    Just a note: Would u know of any recipes that is made of lotus root?

  6. KitATX Austin, Texas joined 11/10 & has 1 comment

    I don’t usually like cabbage kimchi until it has ripened a bit, but i just made oisobagi and it was delicious fresh! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  7. Maangchi,

    I want to make all of your Kimchi recipes for my family up here in Michigan, but seafood and seafood products make me sick. Can I substitute in soy sauce, or another fermented sauce, instead of fish sauce? If so, what sorts of adjustments to the amount should I make?

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

      Use soy sauce and sugar. If you want to make your kimchi paste more delicious, you could add chicken or beef broth to the kimchi paste. Good luck with making delicious kimchi and let me know how it turns out.

  8. chicketypoo San Mateo, California joined 9/10 & has 4 comments

    i’m making your stuffed cucumber now…. I only use 1/4 cup of sea salt .. The question I have is should you drench the cucumber with the salt or how do you know if you put enough salt…since your recipe says to put 1/2 cup. That seems alot for my 10 kirby cucumber…

  9. Souavarat Houston, Texas joined 9/10 & has 45 comments

    Oisobagi is so good. I love this with hot rice and pork bone soup with mustard greens, or pig feet soup with bitter melon. So good! I love it!

  10. jeancho Philadelphia joined 9/10 & has 2 comments

    Mangchi–thank you so much for this excellent recipe. I made it for my two sisters and brother and it was good as my mom used to make (and so EASY–my first time making kimchi). Do you think type of salt makes a difference to kimchi? I bought Beksul solar salt, but it was too large a grain so I used kosher salt instead. Do you know what is Beksul solar salt isused for?

  11. Epicurean Adventure Minneapolis, MN joined 8/10 & has 30 comments

    I have a question about your oisobagi kimchi recipe.
    Is it okay to use the same porridge from the baechu kimchi recipe, but with more vegetables added?

    I’m just wondering because I made baechu kimchi today and I ended up with leftover kimchi paste, and I’m not sure what to do with it.

    Thanks for being so nice to share your recipes with us.


  12. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I’m eating your stuffed cucumber kimchi right now (is that my nose running a little bit? LOL–I’m eating ti straight, without rice!) It’s delicious! I sprinkled a little sugar and rice vinegar over it as it’s freshly made. Mmmm. Thank you!

  13. LisaL USA joined 9/09 & has 19 comments

    Just made the cucumber kimchi and it’s SO yummy!! Used the cucumbers from my garden of various sizes and it tastes so good.
    I only had to use about 1/4cup of salt for the cucumbers, and even then I think it was too much. I’ll use less next time.
    And it is a little bit salty, but just enough to go fantastic with some rice! YUM!

  14. angelatbh Singapore joined 3/10 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    Is this cucumber kimchi method same like the side dish in korean restaurant? How long must ferment? I dont want to cook with the radish beef soup but just eat as side dish can?


  15. Kathleen Korea joined 3/09 & has 11 comments

    is it possible to substitute jajang for the fish sauce?
    I dont have enough money to buy the fish sauce, nor do I use it enough.

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