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. Pipepippook Beijing joined 11/14 & has 1 comment

    I’ve made it twice and it’s awesome. My 5-year-old loves it and asks for it when it’s dinner time!☺️ Thank u again. I just love all your videos and wished I lived near u to share food! I think u r so cute in your videos! Wish I knew how to share pictures. I want to show mine!

  2. piperjohn3 NYC joined 12/11 & has 10 comments

    I made this not expecting anything too special. Boy, was I wrong–this is absolutely fantastic!

    It’s very good fresh, but I think it’s magically transformed after a day or two in the fridge when the flavors have a chance to meld. It hasn’t lasted long enough to ferment yet!

    Thanks Maangchi!

  3. kurena198 USA joined 5/14 & has 1 comment

    Hi, just wanted to say that I love this recipe! Plus, after I left it fermented fora couple days, I made some of them into like fried pickles style. it was so awesome. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Kimek Poland joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    Oh, looks so yummy! Crunchy fresh cucumbers and salty, spicy hot filling. I love it!

  5. Rosemary4 Sanford fl joined 9/12 & has 2 comments

    Hi maangchi! I wonder it can without to put stuffing in cucumber kimchi? Is that taste better with stuffing? Let me know before I head to make soon. Look forward you respond soon. :-)

  6. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

    Thank you for another great recipe!

  7. This is probably one of the most delicious maangchi recipe that I have ever tried. Tasting this dish brought tears to my eyes (I exaggerate)…honestly, I could not get enough of this all summer long. Just a warning: it’s quite garlicky but so so good.

  8. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13 & has 54 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I know this has nothing to do with this recipe but can you please write my name in Korean?
    Its Krynauw, the pronunciation is Cray (as in crayfish) + no (as in yes- no)
    I would REALLY appreciate it!!!
    Thanks :)

  9. urfatutkunu Türkiye joined 4/13 & has 8 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I’m going to make oi sobagi but you say sugar in the recipe. But didn’t add sugar on your video. Sugar or not???

  10. bellehorn Ohio joined 8/13 & has 2 comments

    Hello i was wondering if there is any substitute for red pepper powder?

  11. urfatutkunu Türkiye joined 4/13 & has 8 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    For this recipe, can I use something else instead of fish sauce?

  12. jeansuki joined 2/11 & has 7 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Thank you for re-posting this; it’s time for Oi-Sobagi! Yay Oi Kimchi!
    I JUST bought these cukes at the farmers market. A friend came over and I showed her how to make them and we had a great time. We did have to run to the korean market to purchase buchu garlic chives…but I think that makes them super authentico. Just like last year, I put in too much carrot, but I can’t complain about that! The stuffing falls all over, but I just press it all into the large jars that I have.
    Thank you again for re-posting this seasonal favorite and congratulations on your book deal! You are the best!
    I would love to have a garlic stem kimchi recipe too! You do have a thread manul julgi but no recipe yet. (I’m still going to try it! I think I have figured it out.)
    So, you are a great teacher and person. I LOve your videos, posts and pictures!
    Thanks Maangchi!
    Your devoted fan,

  13. Miss Kim78 socali joined 3/13 & has 40 comments

    OMG Maangchi, I made this following your recipe a long time ago. This is one of my fav banchans to eat on hot summer days. It’s so good. I just love the spicy, sour, salty, refreshing taste of this dish. I love eating a bowl of rice in cold ice water and having this as a side dish. I can eat a meal like that all summer long haha. I haven’t had it in a while. I should make some soon!

  14. JoyceWu Taiwan joined 7/12 & has 6 comments

    Hi Maangchi, this is first I made it .
    It’s look like tasty but I feel too salty.
    Is it normal or I have to wash more times before I put stuff ? Thank you.

  15. urfatutkunu Türkiye joined 4/13 & has 8 comments

    Dear Maangchi,
    If I protect this kimchi and coluldn’t finish in the same day, how many times it could be fresh? And how must I hide it? In the refrigerator?

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