Cucumbers are growing very nicely in my backyard’s container garden. And looking at the fresh cukes reminded me of my daughter’s favorite kimchi made with cucumbers called Oi-So-Bagi (oh-yee-soh-bah-gi.) It is also one of my favorites because it’s quick and easy to make and you don’t have to wait too long to eat them because they are ready in a day or two, unlike nappa cabbage kimchi. And even though, it doesn’t have as much probiotics as regular kimchi, because it ripens quickly, it’s still refreshing, tasty, and makes great side dishes with any entreé. I hope you enjoy Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi (Oi-So-Bagi) as much as I do!
And it’s fun to make Oi-So-Bagi since you have to stuff the cucumbers with all the goodness with your hands…which is the reason why my daughter loves to make this. She loves playing with food (ahem) and what’s better than having fun while making delicious food? Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards or wear food safe gloves to handle the spicy peppery mixture for stuffing. You’ll thank me later.
Try Oi-So-Bagi instead of pickles. It’ll add heat and more flavor to your next meal!
Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi (Oi-So-Bagi)
Cut the cucumbers vertically to prepare them to be stuffed.
See how it looks after the two vertical slits?
Then, soak the cukes in a salted brine for about 30- 60 minutes until they are limp.
Pull one of the spears away and when it’s limp and soft, they are ready to be stuffed!
Doesn’t your mouth water when you see this goodness? So much flavor in this stuffing mix. If you can’t find Chinese Chives (the flat greens in the picture below), you can use finely chopped scallions but they won’t give you this ‘special’ flavor but still good enough. You can also try with regular chives, although, I could never find chives that are sold in large quantities.
Stuff the cukes liberally inside and smear the mixture on the outside. Massage them well! And after you stuff the cukes, this is what you will end up with! Is your mouth watering?
Place the stuffed cukes nicely stacked in a large glass bowl, cover it, and leave it out for one day. Then, transfer them to a large glass jar (I have about 6 jars like this for making kimchi and kombucha), and place the jar on a plate, just in case the liquid overflows, and refrigerate. They will be ready for eating in just one to two days after you put them in the refrigerator. They should stay firm and green for at least a week. But if you wait too long, the cukes will turn yellowish, become too soft and turn sour. There is nothing wrong with eating sour kimchi (In fact, some Korean dishes require sour kimchi – like, Kimchi Casserole) but cucumbers will get soggy and soft and so I eat them when they are crunchy.
Reuse Old Kimchi Liquid to Make More Cucumber Kimchi
If you loved your first batch of cucumber kimchi, the chances are you’ll want to make it again. Here is my short cut trick.
DO NOT THROW OUT the liquid from this batch!
You can reuse it t make a new batch. A slightly different version but still, the ‘new’ cucumber kimchi will be just as good, if not better! Here is how:
Cut cucumbers in spears, vertically, like pickles. Then, cut in 1 inch cubes. For about 10 cucumbers, sprinkle them with about 1/2 tbsp of sea salt and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse the cukes in cold running water, drain well and dab them with clean kitchen towel to dry off the excess water. Then, add them to the ‘old’ cucumber kimchi liquid and refrigerate. The ‘new’ cucumber kimchi will be ready in 24 hours to be eaten. It’s like getting a second ferment! Enjoy!
Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi (Oi-So-Bagi)
- 10 Kirby Cucumbers
- 2/3 Cup Brine after cucumbers were done soaking
- 10 Cups of Water
- 1 Cup of Coarse Sea Salt
- 1/2 Cup Korean Pepper Flakes found in Asian or Korean grocery store
- 1 Cup Chinese Chives chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/3 C Salted Fermented Shrimp or 3 Tbsp of Korean Fish Sauce found in Asian Grocery Store
- 1 Tbsp Organic Raw Sugar Need this for the fermentation but you can leave out if you wish
- 4 Cloves of Minced Garlic
- 1 Tsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Cup of Finely Chopped Carrots
- 1 Cup of Thinly Sliced Onions
- Wash cucumbers well.
- Cut the cucumbers vertically, perpendicularly, stopping about an inch or so before the opposite end. (See images above)
- Combine sea salt and water in a large pot or a bowl (I have a few of these large bowls and they are great for mixing, brining, cleaning, etc. Totally worth the investment.)
- Soak the cucumbers in the brine for about 30 minutes, until the spear becomes limp, as shown in the image above.
- Meanwhile, make the stuffing by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl using your hands.
- I Wear food safe gloves when I do this because, 1) my hands may get stained from the hot pepper flakes 2) if I have a cut on my hand, the sting will HURT! 3) my hands will smell like kimchi for two days
- When the cucumbers are limp, you are ready to stuff them.
- Reserve about 3/4 Cup of the brine and drain the cucumbers.
- Wash the cucumbers and put them back in the large bowl.
- Using a clean kitchen towel, dab the excess water from the cucumbers.
- Now stuff the cucumbers, being careful not to pull the spears apart, with the chives mixture.
- Stack each of the stuffed cucumbers in a large bowl or a glass pan and cover.
- Leave them out for one day in room temperature.
- One day later.....
- Place the cucumbers in a large glass jar (like this), place it on a larger plate to catch any liquid over flow and refrigerate.
- Cucumber kimchi will be ready to eat one day AFTER you refrigerate. If the cukes start to turn yellow, it may be get softer and become sour but still, they will be good to eat. Kimchi never goes bad. It just ferments more as you wait longer.