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  • Writer's pictureHelen ModernPepper

Cucumber Kimchi: Oi-sobagi (오이소박이 레시피) 🇰🇷Traditional/전통 & 🌱Vegan/채식 Recipes + Mukbang/먹방

Updated: Jan 14

Often called Cucumber Kimchi, but the proper name is OiSoBaGi/오이소박이 (phonetically pronounced "O-Yee-Soh-Bhak-Yee"). Oisobagi is a summer dish that is made to be eaten right away or fermented for much less than the traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi/BaeChu Kimchi/배추김치. The cucumbers are stuffed with spicy Korean Red Pepper Flakes GoChuGaRu/고춧가루 paste with garlic chives and more. It is a simple cucumber dish that is crunchy, spicy, and all the yummy goodness of fresh cucumbers. During the hot summer months, all you need is Oisobagi and a bowl of Korean rice with cold water mixed....SO YUM and JUST HITS-THE-SPOT😋.


This Oisobagi/오이소박이 recipe includes:

  • Traditional Recipe Using Fish Sauce/멸치액젓 and Fermented Salt Brined Shrimp/새우젓

  • Vegan Recipe/채식 레시피 Using Vegan "Fish" Sauce and Fermented Salt Seaweed

  • Mukbang/먹방/Eating Show: I share my easiest way to enjoy Oisobagi when you just don't want to cook! All you need is Korean rice, cold water, and Oisobagi.

🌱Vegan Friends, make sure to watch my Vegan Kimchi video which includes How To Make Vegan "Fish" Sauce & Fermented Salt Brined Seaweed🌱🌱

🦐For my friends that cannot get Fermented Salt Brined Shrimp (SaeWoJut/새우젓), make sure to check out my Kimchi 101 recipe blog which includes How To Make Homemade Fermented Salt Brined Shrimp Recipe (새우젓 레시피):

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Thanks for watching!


Below You'll Find:

INGREDIENTS ( *ingredient substitutions)

🦐Homemade Salt Fermented Shrimp

🌿For My GreenThumb Friends (seeds to grow kimchi vegetables & drying method for red pepeprs)

Korean Red Pepper Flakes/GoChuGaRu/고춧가루 Shopping & Storage Tips


RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS (includes troubleshooting tips)

Storage & Fermentation Tips


(This Oisobagi recipe is for 1.5 lbs of cucumbers)

6 Kirby Cucumbers (*Korean Cucumbers or Persian Cucumbers)

1 Small Tomato (ripe and sweetened only)

1/2 Small Carrot (julienned)

1/4 Small-Medium Red Onion (thinly sliced)

1/4 Cup Korean Red Pepper Flakes/GoChuGaRu/고춧가루 (Coarse Grind Only)

2 Tbsp Fish Sauce (*Vegan "Fish" Sauce)

1 Tbsp Plum Extract Syrup/Maesil/매실청 (*Honey or Brown Sugar)

1/2 Tbsp Fermented Salt Brined Shrimp/새우젓 (*Fermented Salt Brined Seaweed)

18 Sprigs Garlic Chives (*Scallions/Green Onions - Green Parts Only) - Cut into 1" length (discard root ends of chives)

3 - 4 Garlic Cloves

1 Fresh Ginger (thin slice/size of your thumbnail)

Brining Salt

6 Cups Water (2 Cups Warm Water)

1/4 Cup Coarse Salt (Kosher/Sea Salt or Kimchi Brining Salt)

Plus, extra coarse salt for salt-washing the cucumbers (approximately 1/4 Tsp per Kirby cucumber)

🦐Homemade Salt Fermented Shrimp

Mix two parts shrimp (cut into chunks/no shell), and one part coarse salt. Add one whole shrimp with the head and shell on to the mixture. Store in a glass jar. Gently press down to pack it down and add a layer of saran wrap on top. Leave the jar in the refrigerator for a week. Then stir to mix and you should see some shrimp liquid. Pack it down again and add a layer of plastic wrap. Place it back in the refrigerator and another week later, it should be ready for use.

🌿For My GreenThumb Friends

Here are the seeds to grow your own vegetables for kimchi

(Click on the item to view)

🌶Drying & Processing Red Peppers:

Once the green peppers turn bright red on the plant, harvest them. Lay the red peppers under full sunlight, but with some breeze, preferably late mid to late afternoon. (Don't leave them out under scorching sunlight. Under extreme heat/sun, it will "cook" and damage the peppers.) Every other hour, turn over the peppers. Once the sun goes away, bring the pepper indoors, and leave them in a cool part of the kitchen, unwrapped. And repeat the sun drying process, until the peppers are fully sun-dried. This will take days to complete, depending on sun exposure. Then split open the dried pepper and remove all the seeds. Using a food processor, pulse-blend to coarse grind. Do not over blend as the heat of the blades can "burn/cook" the peppers. Double/triple wrap the coarse ground peppers, place in an airtight container and store in the freezer to preserve its freshness.

🥬Korean Red Pepper Flakes/GoChuGaRu/고춧가루 Shopping & Storage Tips

  • Only coarse-grind GoChuGaru is recommended.

  • If your budget allows, my recommendation is to buy Made In Korea GoChuGaRu. It does cost more than those manufactured in other countries. Personally, I justify spending extra on Made In Korea GoChuGaRu since I am saving so much $$$ when I make my own Kimchi. Store-bought kimchi is delicious, too, but costly when compared to the cost of making homemade kimchi. Also, many families go above and beyond to buy directly from pepper farmers from Korea.

  • Store any unused GoChuGaRu in the freezer to preserve its freshness (double/triple bag it or store in an airtight container).

  • If you can't find Korean red pepper flakes where you live, go to your local spice purveyor, show then to red pepper flakes from this video, and the link below. Hopefully, they can find you a similar match (with NO seeds and must be a coarse grind).

(These are affiliate links, which means, I get a small commission when you make a purchase using these links, AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. Thank you for your support!)

More Korean ingredients & kitchen gadgets at

Korean Red Pepper Flakes (GoChuGaRu 고추가루)

100% Premium Korean Origin Red Pepper Powder Chili Flakes From Famous Award-Winning Region of Yeong Yang Korea

100% Premium Korean Origin Dried Red Pepper Powder

Budget-Friendly Korean Red Pepper Flakes

(Mild or Very Spicy)

Natural Premium Sea Salt for Kimchi Brining: the Jewel of Sinan Island by Chung-Jung-One

Pacific Ocean Gourmet Sea Salt - 5 lbs. Bulk Medium Coarse Grain by San Francisco Salt Co.

SaltWorks Pure Ocean Sea Salt, Extra Coarse Grain, 5 Pound

Cheong Maesil Plum Extract - 420ml

Korean Beksul All-Purpose Plum Extract Syrup 매실청

Ha Bongg Jeong Maesil Plum Extract, 23.64 fl. oz.

100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey - Kosher Certified

CJ Hetbahn Cooked White Rice, Gluten-Free, Vegan

Mamison Quality Kitchen Rubber Gloves (2 Pack) (M)

VitaMix 5200 Blender Professional Grade (64 oz Container)

VitaMix Certified Refurbished (2 Speed Blender)

OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Silicone Balloon Whisk

Handmade Jujube Tree Wooden Korean dinnerware combinations Utensil, Spoons and Chopsticks

Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Wüsthof Twelve Piece Block Set

Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set

John Boos Maple Wood End Grain Reversible Butcher Block Cutting Board, 20"x 15" x 2.25 Inches


Salt Washing The Cucumbers

For each Kirby cucumber use about 1/4 Tsp of coarse salt. Wet the cucumber first, then add the salt on your palm (wear gloves to protect your hand), and start rubbing the skin of the cucumber with the salt. Then rinse off under running cold water.

Cutting The Cucumbers

Cut one end off the cucumber (usually the end where it was attached to the stem of the plant). Make a long cut down the middle of the length of the cucumber, leaving about 1/4 end uncut. Repeat the same cut so that there is four equal parts of the cucumber, as shown in the video recipe.

Brining Salt Water

In a large mixing bowl, add the coarse salt and 2 cups of warm water. Mix well until the salt has completely dissolved. Then pour 4 cups of cold water into the mixing bowl.

Add the cut cucumbers to the saltwater, cover with a plate (this is to ensure that all the cucumbers are fully submerged underwater), and let it soak for two hours.

Final Rinse & Drain

Give the soaking cucumbers a quick rinse under running cold water. Place the cucumbers in a strainer (cut side facing down) and let it drain off the excess water for about 10 minutes.

Making The Paste

In a blender, combine the following (tomato, garlic, ginger, and fermented salt brined shrimp - 🌱Vegan: Same except, use the fermented salt brined seaweed), and blend until pureed.

Pour the puree to a mixing bowl, and add the following (Korean red pepper flakes, fish sauce/🌱Vegan 'Fish" Sauce, plum syrup, garlic chives, carrots, and red onions) and mix well. Let this paste mixture rest for 10 minutes so the garlic chives, carrots, and red onions can wilt a bit in the spicy paste. This wilting of the vegetables will make it easier to stuff the cucumbers.

Stuffing The Cucumbers

Gently stuff each cucumber with the paste (enough stuffing that it overflows at the tip), and coat the exterior skin of the cucumbers by rubbing it with the paste. Place the stuffed cucumbers in an airtight container. Place any remaining paste in between the cucumbers. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the cucumbers and gently pack it down. Cover the container with the lid or just start enjoy your freshly made Oisobagi...:-)


(Especially, during the summer months or if your kitchen is generally "hot" in temperature, cut the kitchen-counter-resting period to half.)

When it comes to Oisobagi, fermentation is very personal and unique to one's preference of how they enjoy these cucumbers. For some, these are only eaten fresh, as in, it is made to be enjoyed as a side salad with their meal, and not meant to be fermented at all. For others, it varies from a few hours of resting on the kitchen counter to 12 hours on the kitchen counter before consuming or storing in the refrigerator. Personally, I do not let these cucumbers rest on the kitchen counter for more than 12 hours. After that, it goes into the refrigerator for slowly fermenting. For me, I like these cucumbers the best after a week of fermentation. My husband, on the other hand, prefers it between weeks two and three. For some, a month later when it is tangy and extra-fermented might be their favorite. So, find your favorite way to enjoy these cucumbers. FYI - Unlike traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi/BaeChu Kimchi/배추김치, Oisobagi is not meant for fermenting for weeks and months.

(Letting your Oisobagi sit in the kitchen for days really isn't recommended. Doing so will push the fermentation will peak too quickly, and the interior of the cucumbers will literally turn into gel/water.)

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