Updated: Oct 5
I love making kimchi, especially traditional Napa cabbage kimchi. Radish kimchi is my second favorite kimchi to make with bok choy kimchi being my third favorite. Traditionally, radish kimchi is made with daikon radishes which are a type of big white winter radish that is used in Japanese and Korean cuisine. It can be be pickled or fermented and can be enjoyed as a snack with other vegetables as well as used in gimbap. Pickled daikon is absolutely delicious and is similar to pickles except less salty but with the same satisfying crunch that you expect from pickled vegetables. Unfortunately, I don't live near any Asian grocery stores so I don't have access to daikon radishes. Me being a home cook who likes to improvise when the going gets tough, I decided to experiment with using globe radishes (the common red radishes you see at grocery stores that you probably don't pay attention to) for radish kimchi. They're surprisingly good and I never knew until I did some googling that you can cook this type of radish and they're not just used for salads. Globe radishes are also pretty good as a pickled snack just like daikon. I don't think globe radishes can completely replace daikon radishes when making radish kimchi but I think of them as a tasty alternative when you might not have daikon and want to make radish kimchi.
(above: globe radishes)
-1 or 2 bunches of globe radishes
-2 tbs. gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
-1 tbs. lime juice
-2 tbs. minced garlic
-2 tbs. sesame oil
-1/2 cup chopped green onions
-1 tbs. sugar
-1 tbs. water
-1/4 tsp. red crushed pepper
-1 tbs. fish sauce
-1 tsp. ground ginger
-2 tbs. rice vinegar (can be found in the Asian section at most local grocery stores)
-2 tbs. white vinegar
-a colander and mason jar(s)
-1 tbs. salt
Note: You can find gochugaru at most Asian grocery stores like H-Mart or online through Amazon and stores that sell spices like one of my favorite online stores, savoryspiceshop.com.
Thoroughly wash radishes and make sure all the dirt is rinsed off.
2. Cut radishes making sure to cut off the "tail" end and the tip of the front of the radishes.
3. Cut the radishes into slices and then halves.
4. Lightly sprinkle the 1 tbs. salt onto the radishes making sure they're completely covered in a colander. Shake the colander to get them evenly coated. Let the radishes sit in the colander for 20 minutes. Rinse salt off of the radishes.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add all seasonings and then thoroughly whisk everything together.
6. Combine the radishes with the seasoning in the bowl. Using food safe gloves, mix and massage the seasoning into the radishes until they're completely covered. Carefully place the radish mixture into mason jar(s) until the jars are completely filled. Use a spoon to push everything down and to make sure the radishes are packed tightly.
7. Place the mason jar(s) in a dark and cool place for 3 days. Refrigerate for at least one or two weeks before eating. Enjoy!
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