The Korea Herald


Kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi)

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 22, 2013 - 19:21

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Kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi) (Korean Bapsang) Kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi) (Korean Bapsang)
Korean radishes taste best in the late fall. Take advantage of the radish season, and make some kkakdugi. It’s an easy and quick kimchi to make. Unlike baechu (napa cabbage) kimchi, it doesn’t require hours and hours of salting. The radishes are first cubed and salted for a short time and then mixed with the seasonings. Although you can start eating it at any time, kkakdugi needs about two weeks in the fridge to adequately develop its flavors. It only gets better with more time. We Koreans enjoy kkakdugi with any Korean meal, but it’s especially good with a mild bowl of soup such as seolleongtang. It’s a delicious side dish that adds a pungent kick and some crunch to a meal!


● 2-3 medium to large Korean radishes* (about 3 kilograms)

(*Buy firm and heavy ones with smooth skin)

● 1/3 cup coarse sea salt  (less if using fine table salt)

● 4-5 scallions, roughly chopped


● 1 teaspoon glutinous rice powder*

(*Mix with 1/3 cup water, simmer over low heat until it thickens to a thin paste

and cool. Yields about 3 tablespoons.)

● 2/3 cup Korean red chili pepper flakes, gochugaru (adjust to your taste)

● 1/4 cup saeujeot (salted shrimp), finely minced

● 2 tablespoons myeolchiaekjeot (fish sauce)

● 3-4 raw shrimp (about 60 grams), finely minced or ground

● 3 tablespoons minced garlic

● 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Clean the radishes by scrubbing with a brush and/or scratching off the stubborn impurities with a small knife. Peel the skin only if necessary. You don’t need to peel if the skin is smooth and clean. Cut into about 3-centimeter thick discs, and then cut each disc into about 3-centimeter cubes, placing them in a large bowl. (The cubes will look big but will shrink during the salting and fermentation processes.)

Sprinkle the salt over the radishes and toss well to coat evenly. Let sit for about 30-40 minutes until the radish cubes have softened and released some liquid.

Meanwhile, make the glutinous rice paste and cool. Prepare the other seasoning ingredients. Mix everything, including the rice paste, well. Set it aside for a while for the red pepper flakes to dissolve a little and become pasty.

Drain the radishes in a colander and discard the liquid. Do not rinse. Rinsing will wash the flavor away. (The radishes still contain sufficient water content that will be released during the fermentation process. With this method, the resulting kkakdugi will have a nice thick juice.)

Place the radishes back in the bowl. Add the seasonings and scallions.

Mix everything well, preferably by hand, until the radish cubes are evenly coated with the seasonings. (Make sure to wear kitchen gloves.) Taste a little bit of the seasoning off of a radish cube. It should be a little too salty to eat as is. Add more salted shrimp or fish sauce if necessary. (The radishes will be a little dry at this point, but they will release water during the fermentation process.)

Store in an airtight container or jar. Before closing the lid, press the kkakdugi down hard with your hand to remove air pockets between the radish cubes. Leave it out at room temperature for a full day or two, depending on the room temperature and how fast you want your kimchi to ripen. Then, store in the fridge.

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By Ro Hyo-sun