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. unchienne Georgia, USA joined 10/08 & has 9 comments

    One of my favorite recipes that I’ve made from your blog. Since I live in a boonies, I’m always on the lookout for common substitutes for items that those of us far from international circles can’t get our hands on…like the bosc pear for the Asian pear and things like that. For this recipe, I didn’t have access to Asian chives (and the regular chives were monstrously expensive for a small amount). Instead, I substituted leeks (cut into very small squares), and it turned out beautifully.

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

      “I substituted leeks (cut into very small squares), and it turned out beautifully.” great tip! I sometimes use green onion and carrot to make oisobagi when buchu is not available. It always turns out delicious.

  2. Lovetocook San Francisco joined 12/12 & has 14 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I have a quick question. This is my second time to make this cucumber kimchi. The first time I made it, it was really good. But the second time I made it, it was good too but there seems to be alot of water/liquid on the bottom of the container of the cucumbers. Is that normal? Should I pour the extra water out? I kind of think with the water sitting in there it would take the flavor out of the cucumber kimchi perhaps? Please advise. Thank you Maangchi.

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

      Yes, it’s normal. It sounds like your oisobagi was made well! The saltiness of the seasoning mix is drawing out water from the cucumber. Sometimes you see a lot more liquid than usual when the cucumber contains lots of water.

      • Lovetocook San Francisco joined 12/12 & has 14 comments

        Ahh…..ok. Good to know. It did seem like I used cucumbers that contained more water the second time I tried making the oisobagi. I’m having some now after a couple of weeks and it taste so good! It seems like it has more flavor too! :D Thank you so much Maangchi! Can’t wait to try your other delicious recipes. Oh just one more question, how long can you keep the oisobagi in the refrigerator after making it?

  3. mayong Malaysia joined 3/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi. I made the cucumber kimchi, left it outside the fridge overnight to ferment, then kept it inside the fridge again. I left it inside the fridge for 1 week before I ate them. Actually, how long can I keep the cucumber kimchi inside the fridge? Do I serve each person, the whole piece of cucumber kimchi or do I cut them up into smaller pieces starting from the top?

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

      You can start eating oisobagi right after making it. Many people prefer freshly made oisobagi. If you want to ferment it, keep it outside the refrigerator for a couple of days as it ferments.

      “Do I serve each person, the whole piece of cucumber kimchi or do I cut them up into smaller pieces starting from the top?” Both ways are good. I like to eat whole pieces just like in the video but you can cut off the top of a large piece and split it into small pieces, too.

  4. mochi-chan Germany joined 11/11 & has 2 comments

    Oh no, in Germany we can’t watch the video anymore because of the background music.

  5. Q. D. C. joined 1/13 & has 4 comments

    If I have extra hot pepper paste, what other vegetables can I use it with? I’m thinking maybe radish or baby bok choi. Comments?

  6. Q. D. C. joined 1/13 & has 4 comments

    I made cucumber kimchi for the first time today. Wow! IT gives ponytail radish kimchi a good run for its money. I’m lucky to live near a Korean market, a Thai/Vietnamese market, and a pan-Asian market. So much fun grocery shopping!

    Thank you, Maangchi, for your recipes. My nephews ask me to bring them vats of kimchi when I visit.

  7. atina326 United States joined 5/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!
    I had something similar to this at a Korean restaurant awhile ago and craved it recently. I was so glad to find the recipe and video here! Thank you so much for posting it, I couldn’t find any chives at my grocery store, but it still turned out great! This is first kimchi I’ve ever made and I’m so glad it worked out well. I plan to make more and try out other recipes. Thanks again! :)

  8. Peedee San luis obispo, CA joined 5/10 & has 5 comments

    I Maangchi, I used this same recipe but cut mini cucumbers into 1/2 inch rounds.
    I often see thick sliced cuccumber kimchi at korean markets & was wondering if this is the same recipe I should be using? I realized I left the salt on there too long. ~30 min like this recipe, but I should have cut the time down since the pieces were smaller. Do you have any tips for me? Thanks

  9. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Maangchi , i made this today .. i was so excited about it . I followed your direction , but i think i didn’t wash it enough , because despite of the delicious filling .. the cucumber was a lil too salty . I probably need to wash it more next time . I still think it’s good and super easy to make !! Thanks !!

  10. SimonJPro Tennessee joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    I cant find a recipe for the regular cucumber kimchee… I liked this recipe but I like the regular cucumber kimchee better… Any chance we could get a cucumber kimchee recipe :) thanks

  11. foodmate virginia joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    Hey Maangchi!
    I absolutely love this recipe! I made it for my boyfriend and he can’t stop raving about it! It was almost finished in 3 days! But towards the 3rd day, my oisobagi started tasting a little bit bitter… why is that? I hope to get a reply soon because I am planning on making it again… hopefully tomorrow night :D Thanks so much for the recipe Maangchi!!!

  12. mmesple Berthoud, CO joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi .. I just made the Oisobagi Kimchi and the Emergency Kimchi and I am in heaven! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful culinary magic!
    Big hugs from my kitchen :-)
    Maryanne Mespl´

  13. Sukhipanna Malaysia joined 5/11 & has 2 comments

    Thanks Maangchi for this recipe. I made it for dinner today and I love the crunchy taste of the cucumber in this kimchi. Even my sister who is fussy when it comes to food gave me a thumb up and asked for refill!! I will make this again for my family! Thanks!

  14. kojimon New York joined 1/11 & has 9 comments

    I made the oisobagi this week and it came out great. I love the freshness of the cucumber along with the spicy kick!! Both me and my wife love your recipes.

    Simply Good Eating Latest blog: http://www.simplygoodeating.com

  15. kojimon New York joined 1/11 & has 9 comments

    I love your recipe for the beef and radish soup maangchi. I also did the cucumber kimichi which was also wonderful. I will soon share that too with my friends to taste it. Thanks for stopping by my site (http://www.simplygoodeating.com). Keep up with the good work and I look forward to seeing more of your awesome recipes. =)

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