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

The chopping:

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.

The prepping:

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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      14 Discussions


      4 years ago on Introduction

      Thanks! Made a huge batch. Tastes like back in Taegu.


      5 years ago

      Thanks to interest in Korean food I love this food


      7 years ago on Introduction

      What ARE Korean red pepper flakes ? I'm trying to source them in the UK. Can they be calld anything else.



      12 years ago

      This looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing. I love kimchee, and there's no such thing as too much garlic. Do you have recipes for the other kimchee variants?

      2 replies

      Reply 12 years ago

      There's a cucumber variation that I love to make, it's great for the summer. I will try to put that up in the next week or so.


      Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

      I would LOVE your recipe for the cucumber variation. I know it's been 5 years, but any chance you could post it??


      12 years ago

      Ooh, this looks good. I can smell the red pepper flakes. I spent a year in Korea and my favorite part was the food. Please keep the recipes coming!


      Reply 12 years ago

      How long is "a while"? Does it need circulation, or to be put into an air-tight container during the souring period?


      Reply 12 years ago

      You just want to cover it, but not airtight, if by "sour" you mean allowing it to ferment as traditional kimchi.

      What's great about kimchi is that there can be as many recipes as there are people who love it :) This recipe is great for a quick fix, but for anyone wanting the full benefits of the enzymes, it needs to be fermented at least a week at room temp. Here's are some interesting recipes to try: Other Types, Radish&Root


      12 years ago

      Thanks for the recipe. It's also proven to ward off the bird flu. I remember my mother making huge batches in the bathtub on kimchi day, especially loved the cucumber version. Since going vegan, been meaning to make my own since most store versions contain seafood.