Oi Sobaegi (Cucumber Kimchi)

Oi Sobaegi - Cucumber Kimchi
Chloe Lim/Flickr
Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
54 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8496mg 369%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 33mg 165%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 231mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you want a real treat, use this recipe to make stuffed cucumber kimchi (or kimchee). Known as oi sobaegi in Korean, this wildly popular dish is hard to keep on the table or in the fridge, because it's so beloved by Koreans of all age groups. Not only is the dish full of snap, crackle, and layers of flavor, but oi sobaegi can also be eaten on the same day that you make it.

The dish is a great meal to make if you don't eat meat or want to lower the amount of meat you consume on a regular basis. Other than the fish sauce that's part of the ingredient list, it's completely vegetarian.


  • 10 Korean, pickling or Kirby cucumbers, with ends sliced off

  • 1/4 cup of salt (If you're watching your sodium intake because of high blood pressure or another condition, you may lower this amount.)

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup kochukaru (Korean chili pepper)

  • 1/2 cup of Asian chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup of fish sauce or liquid from the brined sauce

  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash cucumbers.

  3. Place end of cucumber on cutting board and cut in half down length, without cutting through to the end.

  4. Rotate the cucumber and make another cut without going through the end, so that the second cut is perpendicular to the first.

  5. Fill a large bowl with water and dissolve the ¼ cup salt into it.

  6. Fully submerge cucumbers in the salt bath for 30 minutes.

  7. While cucumbers are marinating, mix all other ingredients together in a bowl to make the stuffing.

  8. After 30 minutes, remove cucumbers from the salt bath but do not rinse.

  9. Fill each cucumber between the connected spears with spicy stuffing (but do not rinse out bowl).

  10. Place cucumbers next to each other in a glass container.

  11. Fill seasoning bowl with about a cup of water, dissolving remaining seasonings in the bowl.

  12. Pour liquid over cucumbers until they are almost submerged.

  13. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and store at room temperature for 8 to12 hours.

  14. Move cucumber kimchi to the refrigerator.

  15. Enjoy!


You can find small Korean cucumbers at Asian markets. If you can't find kirby cucumbers, you can use another unwaxed thin-skinned cucumber.