Radish Kimchi or Kkakdugi (깍두기) in Korean is a type of kimchi made of cubed Korean radish. I always preferred this over napa cabbage when we’re eating it as a side dish (banchan).
Since we can’t seem to find decent kimchi or kkakdugi at the store in Vegas, we’ve resorted to making our own. My mom tried a few times to add seasoning to fix the ones we purchased to no avail.
When is the best time to make Korean radish kimchi?
Koreans like to make this radish kimchi from mid to late fall. My mom says the fall radish is much sweeter and summer radish is bitter. You can add more sugar to make up for it, but it’s not quite the same.
Korean Radish Kimchi Kkakdugi RecipeCourse: SidesCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
My mom’s Korean radish kimchi recipe. It’s crunchy, slightly sweet, and refreshing to eat.
1 Korean radish (ours was 1 lb 3 oz)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Korean red pepper flakes
Optional: 4 Tbsp chopped green onion
1 cup water
1 Tbsp mochiko
1 tsp salted shrimp sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp minced radish
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced apple
2 Tbsp minced asian pear
2 Tbsp minced white onion
1 tsp ginger
Salt to taste
- Rinse with water.
- Cut off some radish and set aside for approximately 2 Tbsp blended radish puree.
- Chop up the remainder radish into 1-inch cubes. You can cut them smaller or bigger to your preference, but keep in mind they shrink over time. Also, leaving the peel on is tastier.
- In a bowl, add the cubed radish and sugar and let it sit for 20 minutes to let the water out. Meanwhile, start prepping the puree.
- Mix again, add salt and let it sit for 20 more minutes until the edges are soft. If they’re not soft enough, give another mix and wait an additional 20 minutes. Drain water.
- Add red pepper flakes to the radish and mix well.
- In a pot, add 1 cup of water and Mochiko, stir well, and let it boil. Stir until it turns into a paste or dissolves. Let it cool.
- Use a blender or food processor, and add sweet rice flour paste, salted shrimp sauce, Asian pear, apple, garlic, radish, white onion, and ginger to make the puree. If you don’t have either, you can finely mince all the ingredients and mix.
- Pour the puree over the radish and mix well.
- Optional: Add green onion and mix.
- Add sesame seeds. Add salt or sugar to taste if necessary.
- Store it in a jar to let it ferment.
Mom’s Notes + Substitutions
- You can substitute the mochiko with wheat flour or other rice flour, but my mom prefers mochiko.
- If you don’t have Asian pear, you can replace it with more apple or vice versa.
- You can also substitute fish sauce and shrimp sauce with one another, but we like to use both when we have it.
- People have different preferences. We like our kkakdugi more fermented, so we let it sit out for 2-3 days before we eat it. Then we put it in the fridge. If you want it to ferment slower, store it in the fridge right away.
- Some people like to use saccharin / artificial sweetener and claim it makes the radish crunchier. We’ll try that next and let you know. Skip the Stevia. The batch we tried to make with Stevia was pretty awful.
Can I substitute the Korean radish with Daikon radish?
Korean radish is different from Daikon radish and has a slight spice or kick to it. It tastes okay if you substitute, but it will produce different results.
Where can I buy Korean radish (mu)?
Korean radish is available at most Korean, Chinese, and other Asian supermarkets.
How do you store the radish?
Wrap it in a newspaper and keep it in a cool place (the fridge if your place is warm). Do not wash it beforehand.
If you plan on making soups or stew with it, you can wash it, cut it up, and seal it tightly in a bag. It will be soft after you defrost it, so it’s no longer good to make this radish kimchi with.
What did you think of this Korean radish kimchi recipe? Did you use any substitutions? Would love to hear how yours turned out.