Oi sobagi, or Korean stuffed cucumber kimchi, is a refreshing and delicious side dish that is easy to make and even better to eat! We enjoy eating oi sobagi (오이소박이) with rice and our favorite Korean meat dishes or stews and it makes a great side dish with any Korean barbeque. This kimchi does not need time to ferment and can be eaten right away making it easy to make any time!
Type of Cucumbers
The best type of cucumbers to use for oi sobagi are Korean cucumbers if you can find them at a local Korean market or store. However I live five hours away from the nearest Hmart and not able to easily find Korean cucumbers so I typically use mini cucumbers or kirby cucumbers. Kirby cucumbers are a type of pickling cucumber that are nice and sturdy which makes them easier to use.
Gochugaru (or kochugaru) 고추가루 are Korean red chili flakes used in many Korean dishes and are commonly found in Asian or Korean markets. If you cannot find gochugaru locally, you can purchase a bag online here or a small container here. Gochugaru comes coursely ground or finely ground which is labeled on the packaging. For this recipe use the course flakes.
Fish Sauce is a staple in many dishes I make and my favorite fish sauce to use is this Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce. It can be found at most Asian markets, otherwise can be found online as well.
How to Make Oi Sobagi
Trim off one end of a cucumber then halve lengthwise leaving about 1/2 an inch on the opposite end to keep it intact. Rotate cucumber 90 degrees and halve lengthwise again, still keeping the opposite end intact, creating a sort of pocket as seen in pictures below.
Place cucumbers in a bowl and add kosher salt to draw out the excess moisture, mixing around the cucumbers to coat and set aside.
In a medium bowl mix the carrots, onions, and green onions then add gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes), sugar, fish sauce, minced garlic, and a splash of rice vinegar. Toss everything together to make the filling. If you can find Korean chives they work best in place of the green onions.
Rinse the cucumbers in cold water to get all the salt off and pat dry then stuff the cucumbers with the filling. Place in an airtight container, pour any remaining filling on top of the cucumbers, and eat right away or place in the refrigerator. Can keep refrigerated for a week or two.
Oi sobagi is a great Korean stuffed cucumber kimchi that can be made the same day it is eaten and goes well with Korean meat dishes like Korean Beef Bulgogi and stews. Enjoy it with friends on a hot summer day, or any day!
Korean Dishes Oi Sobagi Pairs Well With
Here are some great Korean dishes to try with oi sobagi!
Oi Sobagi Korean Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi
- 5 Mini cucumbers or kirby cucumbers Use Korean cucumbers if available
- 1/4 cup Kosher sea salt
- 3 Green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces Use Korean chives if available
- 1/2 Carrot, cut into 2 inch matchsticks
- 1/4 White onion, sliced thinly
- 2-3 Tbsp Kochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
- 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp Minced garlic
- Splash of rice vinegar
- Trim off one end of a cucumber then halve lengthwise leaving about 1/2 an inch on the opposite end to keep it intact. Rotate cucumber 90 degrees and halve lengthwise again, still keeping the opposite end intact, creating a sort of pocket.
- Repeat cuts with all cucumbers then place in medium sized bowl.
- Generously sprinkle cucumbers with kosher sea salt, mixing cucumbers around to coat all sides. Set aside to draw out excess moisture for about 15 minutes.
- In another medium sized bowl combine green onions, carrots, onions, kochugaru, sugar, fish sauce, minced garlic, and a splash of rice vinegar and toss together thoroughly.
- Rinse cucumbers under cold water to wash off salt and drain, then pat dry.
- Using hands (gloves recommended) hold one cucumber from the uncut end. Using other hand scoop up a handful of filling and carefully stuff the cucumber through the opening.
- Place cucumber in airtight container and repeat with remaining cucumbers. Pour any leftover filling and juice over the cucumbers in the container.
- Cover and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or eat right away. Can be kept in fridge for up to one week.
- Red pepper flakes CANNOT be substituted for kochugaru. Kochugaru can be found at most Asian markets or online.