Introduction: Daicon Radish Kimchee
It only takes a few minutes and a little patience to make this simple introduction to the wonderful world of kimchee. We Koreans like to make all sorts of claims about kimchee, from warding off colds and vampires, to treating tummy conditions, to raising your libido. I can personally vouch for at least three out of the four.
Step 1: What You'll Need.
1 pound of daicon radish (probably should not be as green as the one you see here--try to find something that's more uniformly white);
2 heads (yes, heads) of garlic;
1 bunch of scallions;
1 Tablespoon salt (I use Diamond Crystal);
4 Tablespoons-ish dried red pepper flakes (from the Korean grocer, not the crushed red pepper flakes you see in pizza parlors);
1 teaspoon sugar (optional, but nice);
1 tablespoon salted baby prawns (also optional, but nice).
Step 2: What to Do
Peel the daicon radish and chop it up into little bits--a little bigger than what you'd want for a potato salad. The bits here are a about 3/4 of an inch, all around.
Mince the heads of garlic;
Wash and cut the scallions (green and white parts) so that each piece is about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch (it doesn't really matter);
If you're using the little shrimpies, mince those as well.
Put them all in the bowl, and then toss as you would a salad.
Step 3: The Last Little Bit
The only other thing is to add the red pepper flakes. I do it by sight, adding a little bit at a time and tossing it until it gets to about the density you see in this picture. It's a pretty forgiving process, so don't worry about it too much.
Step 4: ... and That's It!
Just stick it in a jar or other kind of container you can easily cover/close, and then put it in the refrigerator for about two days. It'll be ready to eat after that. You can see that the salt extracts a lot of liquid from the daicon. The garlic mellows its sharp flavor, too, but you can't see that.
For what it's worth, daicon kimchee is especially pungent, so if you don't want your milk tasting like garlic (how is that a bad thing, really?), you can do what I do when the weather is cooler: Just put it all in an insulated container, and leave it outside. I put mine on the window ledge, and the salt and insulation keep it from freezing over.
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