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Korean Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)

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Crunchy and delicious Korean radish kimchi (Kkakdugi) recipe!

Radish kimchi is one of my favorite types of kimchi (김치). When I was a child, I always preferred radish kimchi over regular napa cabbage kimchi. Because it has a crunchy texture and a subtle sweet note to it.

You can easily buy this kimchi from a Korean grocery store, but they never gave me the taste or the texture that I grew up with. 

How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

So I decided to make some myself. I even asked my mum for her advice on how to make tasty Kkadugi and she gave me some pointers on what to add.

And, I’m very happy with how it turned out. It’s crunchy and not too salty nor not too sweet. It has a well balanced taste and I might dare to say it was pretty close to my mum’s version. 😉

What is Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)

Radish kimchi is a kimchi made out of radish and its Korean name is Kkakdugi (깍두기).  The name originates from kkakduk sseolgi (깍둑설기) in Korean. It describes the motion of cutting food in cubes.

Many Koreans say Kkakdugi made in mid to late autumn (October to December) tastes best as it is the Korean traditional radish harvest season.

Korean radishes picked during this time have the most natural sweet taste and also are firmer. I even remember snacking on raw radishes when my mum was slicing them in her kitchen.

Kkakdugi is commonly paired with these main dishes: Korean ox bone soup (Seollengtang, 설렁탕), Beef short rib soup (Galbitang, 갈비탕) and Korean knife cut noodles (Kalguksu, 칼국수).

I hope you give my radish kimchi recipe a try soon!

How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Ingredients for Radish Kimchi

Main

  • 1.1kg (2.5 pounds) Korean radish (or other variety of white daikon radish) – rinsed and skin peeled
  • 3 stalks (50g, 1.8 ounces) green onion – rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rock salt (or Korean coarse salt)

Radish Kimchi Base

  • 1/2 small brown onion (70g, 2.5 ounces), skin peeled, cut into small pieces to blend
  • 1/2 small red apple (50g, 1.8 ounces), seed and core removed, cut into small pieces to blend
  • 3 Tbsp Korean fish sauce (I used anchovy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp Minced garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp Minced ginger
  • 4 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp rice flour

*1 Tbsp = 15ml, 1 cup = 250ml

** If you’re unsure of the above Korean ingredients, find out more about them from my other post “30 Essential Korean cooking ingredients“.

How to Make Radish Kimchi

1. Cut the radish into medium sized cubes. (It could be smaller or bigger if that’s what you prefer. Just be mindful that the radish will shrink as they go through the fermentation process.) Put the cubed radish into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and the salt and mix them well. Leave it for 1 hour at room temperature.

How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

2. While waiting, chop the green onion into small pieces and make the kimchi base. Blend the onion and apple with the fish sauce in a blender. (It can take a few minutes as the liquid isn’t as much as the solids.) Make the rice porridge by mixing the water and the rice flour in a bowl and heating them up for 1 min in a microwave. (It could be shorter or longer depending on the output power of your microwave). It should give you a mildly runny porridge texture. Mix all the kimchi base ingredients (*except for 2 Tbsp of Korean chili flakes) in a medium sized bowl.

How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

3. After one hour, rinse the radish in cold running water a couple of times and drain any excess water for 5 mins.

How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

4. Put the radish into a clean mixing bowl and add 2 Tbsp of Korean chili flakes. (Put a food prep glove on.) Mix the chili flakes with the radish evenly. (By adding this chili flakes separately and earlier than rest of the kimchi base, you are giving a nice vibrant colour to the radish. Also, my mum believes that it will help the kimchi base to smear well into the radish). Add the chopped green onion and the kimchi base and mix them evenly and thoroughly.

How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.comHow to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

5. Move the seasoned radish into an air tight glass container (1.5L glass jar for the above-listed quantity) and leave it at room temperature for between 6 to 24 hours depending on the temperature (I left mine out for 1 day with early spring temperature.). After that keep it in the fridge. (The best temperature for storing any kimchi is 6 degree Celsius (42.8F).)

How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Note

  • Rice flour is used to make the kimchi base stickier so that it holds onto the radish well. Also, it is used as a bait for probiotics. (Apparently, this helps them to breed well, and kimchi with more probiotics tastes best.) If you don’t have rice flour, you can use sweet glutinous rice flour or even all purpose flour. I haven’t tried with them, but some Koreans use them as alternatives.
  • If you think adding the chili flakes separately in step 4 is cumbersome, you can mix them with the rest of kimchi base in step 2.
  • The radish kimchi should start to taste nice from Day 3. You could start eating it a bit earlier but then you will notice that the radish is still a bit raw. It needs to go through the fermentation process to become more tasty.
  • Is this recipe too hard? Or want some quick radish kimchi? Then try my shredded daikon radish salad recipe!


How to make authentic Korean cubed radish Kimchi (KKakdugi) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)

How to make crunch and delicious Korean radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)
4.77 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side dishes
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: kkakdugi, radish kimchi
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 52kcal

Ingredients

MAIN

  • 1.1 kg Korean radish (2.5 pounds), or daikon radish, rinsed and skin peeled
  • 3 stalks green onion (50 g / 1.8 ounces), rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rock salt or Korean coarse salt

RADISH KIMCHI BASE

  • 1/2 small brown onion (70 g / 2.5 ounces), skin peeled, cut into small pieces to blend
  • 1/2 small red apple (50 g / 1.8 ounces), seed and core removed, cut into small pieces to blend
  • 3 Tbsp Korean fish sauce , I used anchovy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp rice flour

Instructions

  • Cut the radish into medium sized cubes. (It could be smaller or bigger if that’s what you prefer. Just be mindful that the radish will shrink as they go through the fermentation process.) Put the cubed radish into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and the salt and mix them well. Leave it for 1 hour at room temperature.
  • While waiting, chop the green onion into small pieces and make the Kimchi base. Blend the onion and apple with the fish sauce in a blender. (It can take a few minutes as the liquid isn’t as much as the solids.) Make the rice porridge by mixing the water and the rice flour in a bowl and heating them up for 1 min in a microwave. (It could be shorter or longer depending on the output power of your microwave). It should give you a mildly runny porridge texture. Mix all the Kimchi base ingredients (*except for 2 Tbsp of Korean chili flakes) in a medium sized bowl.
  • After one hour, rinse the radish in cold running water a couple of times and drain any excess water for 5 mins.
  • Put the radish into a clean mixing bowl and add 2 Tbsp of Korean chili flakes. (Put a food prep glove on.) Mix the chili flakes with the radish evenly. (By adding this chili flakes separately and earlier than rest of the Kimchi base, you are giving a nice vibrant colour to the radish. Also, my mum believes that it will help the Kimchi base to smear well into the radish). Add the chopped green onion and the Kimchi base and mix them evenly and thoroughly.
  • Move the seasoned radish into an air tight glass container (1.5L glass jar for the above-listed quantity) and leave it at room temperature for between 6 to 24 hours depending on the temperature (I left mine out for 1 day with early spring temperature.). After that keep it in the fridge. (The best temperature for storing any Kimchi is 6 degree Celsius (42.8F).)

Nutrition

Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1896mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 985IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

 

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: October 19, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

Leave a Comment

74 thoughts on “Korean Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)”

    • Do you mean Chinese cabbage/ napa cabbage? I think you can. I haven’t done it myself though. You will have to pickle the cabbage in salt as well.

      Reply
  1. Just made this can’t wait to try it after it ferments. My radish was a bit on the small side so I had extra paste left. Can other vegetables be added to the daikon? Or do you only recommend daikon?

    Reply
  2. Thanks Sue, made this today with liquid aminos instead of the fish sauce. Absolutely amazing! I’m eating it now because I don’t like it so fermented. This is now my go to recipe for kkakkduki. Looking forward to making some of your other recipes!

    Reply
  3. After having some pickled daikon at a Korean restaurant, I was inspired to make this. I’m a big fan of daikon. One large diakon cubed gave me about 2 qts. I made the recipe and divided the results into to mason jars. Let is sit on the counter in “cool” (65F/20C) conditions for a few days, and off into the fridge. Within a week, the lid was deformed and the fermentation was going. After a week in the fridge, the flavor was good, but not tangy enough. After a month, mmmm! So tasty! Crunchy, tangy, perfect. Thanks Sue for such a great recipe!

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t use gochujang as a gochugaru alternative. Gochujang is also combined with fermented soybeans, salt and sweetener (often corn syrup). Not only your kimchi will taste different to a regular kimchi, it will also have different texture.

      Reply
  4. Hi Sue,

    I want to make this kimchi at home! What is a “brown onion”? In the US, we have “Yellow”, “white” and “red” onions (along with green onion/tama negi), but no “brown” onions. What are you expecting?

    Reply
  5. i tried my first batch of radish kimchi ( kkakdugi) using your recipe and it came out so good. i have been to korea recently and had the chance to eat good quality napa cabbage kimchi …and i swear i liked it so much!!!! We dont get the napa cabbage here in Bhutan so tried with radish and everyone love it…thanks !!! Kuenzang – BHUTAN

    Reply
  6. This looks so good!
    I would love to try it but unfortunately it’s nearly impossible for me to get some of the ingredients :/
    I hope someday i will be able to make it myself.

    Reply
  7. Hi Su, the glass container that I could find was alittle bigger. Thus the Radish Kimchi doesn’t fill to the brim. Is it ok to have that gap? I have placed baking paper ontop of the radish, hoping it can help to reduce air exposure.

    Reply
    • Hi Lili, Your kimchi should be fine in a big container. (That happens!) I didn’t even think of placing baking pager, but it certainly sounds interesting! Let me know how you go. 🙂

      Reply
      • Hi Sue, I removed the baking paper half way through, because it looks silly..haha. But I enjoyed this recipe of Kkakdugi. Due to humid weather in Singapore, it is nicely fermented after 6 hours at room temp. It’s so good, and I can’t stop eating it. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

        Reply
  8. Hi Sue, thank you so much for this recepi. Did my 1sr ever kimchi using this recepi by you. Though, I added 1 1/2 cup sugar to make it sweeter n to ferment it faster.😎😬 I don’t have apple so I replaced with pear. Turns out BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much! Will do another batch this time with apple n less sugar. My only grouse, it didn’t turn sour enough. Maybe not ferment long enough at room temperature? I only put 1 day outside before putting into fridge. Thanks again Sue.💖

    Reply
    • Don’t worry! It will get sour soon enough. When did you make the kimchi? Sourness doesn’t happen over a day or two. It takes at least 1-2 weeks until it develops proper sour and tangy flavor. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Hi Sue, I really enjoy all your recipes! I love all kinds of kimchi and especially kkakdugi. One of the best I’ve had is the type that is served with Seollungtang and Gomtang in korea, it’s a little different from the usual kkakdugi, softer, more sour and sweet than spicy and i really love that… Do you just have to ferment them longer or is it a completely different recipe?

    Reply
    • Hi Gina, I wouldn’t say Seollungtang kkakdugi is made with a completely different recipe. It’s usually chunkier and more sour, so you just need to cut the radish into bigger chunks and ferment the kimchi a bit longer to get more sour result. In the same way, if you prefer more sweetened kimchi taste, simply add more sugar. That’s it. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Can I use gochujang in this recipe instead of the chili flakes? If so, how much should I use? I am looking to make it mild to medium. I keep gochujang on hand.

    Reply
    • Hi Clay, It can last for a few months at least in your fridge though it will taste different as it ages (part of fermentation). With the amount specified above, I typically finish it up within a month. 🙂 They are so yummy!! Haha. I don’t think they tasted sour during this time period. Hope this helps! & Enjoy!

      Reply
  11. Thank you so much for this recipe!! So yummy…I didn’t have fish sauce so I omitted it and the dish still turned out great! I look forward to making more:)

    Reply
    • Great! It’s good to hear it still tasted good without the fish sauce. Though fermentation process may take a bit longer because of that. 🙂 Enjoy!

      Reply
  12. 2 questions for you. When you say blend onion and apple do you mean put it in a food processor or blender? Also what variety is a brown onion? Is it something I could find in the local Asian store perhaps?

    Reply
    • Yes, blend the onion and apple in a food processor or blender.
      I used brown onion. It’s available in a normal grocery store. (Well, at least in Australia.)
      Hope this helps. Enjoy!

      Reply
      • If you want to add saeujeot, don’t add 3 Tbsp of fish sauce. I’d go for 1 Tbsp saeujeot and 1 ~1.5 Tbsp fish sauce. Or 2 Tbsp saewoojeot if not adding fish sauce.

        Reply
  13. Hi! Sue
    This is a great website for Korean cuisine. Absolutely love it! I wanted to know what we can replace for fish sauce. Thanks!

    Reply
  14. Hi there, I made this, but there were some discrepancies in your explanation. You said flakes, and asian market didn’t have “korean” flakes so I got asian flakes which were much bigger… Did you actual blend in a blender or food processor the onion and apple? How did you get it to be so fine? I cut mine very small, but still is chunky. You also say an hour and 15 minutes total, when at the end of the recipe, you said let it sit for a day. That means it takes a day. I am new to making korean food so maybe a little more explanation could have helped.

    Reply
    • Hi Wendell,

      I’m not quite sure why you say there’s discrepancy in my explanation. If it is about the time taken to make this radish Kimchi here’s my explanation. To make this Kimchi it takes about 1 hr and 15 mins. (Of course, it could be different depending on your familiarity with ingredients and these types of cooking.) 1 hr 15 mins only include “active cooking time”. I thought this was standard way of expressing it in recipe writing. (I could be wrong. 🙂 ). Any Kimchi can be eaten straight away but most people eat it after fermenting it for a day or two as it tastes better. Room temperature also plays a part as during summer you move the kimchi to the fridge sooner. So I think it would be less accurate to include these “resting time” in the recipe as it’s subjective.

      Please check these links if you want to know more about Korean chili flakes. https://mykoreankitchen.com/2015/07/11/essential-korean-cooking-ingredients/ and https://mykoreankitchen.com/2006/12/15/chili-powder-gochutgaru-in-korean/ Some manufacturers call it chili flakes while others call it chili powder. (I used to call it chili powder but now I call it chili flakes as it seems more accurate.) I don’t know what would be classed as “asian flakes” as there are so many varieties of chili flakes/powder. Korean chili flakes are different to thai and indian kinds – in flavour and in intensity wise.

      Also yes, I blended the onion and apple in my hand held mixer. (You can see that from my video tutorial.) I don’t think mine was fine either. It was all pureed and it wasn’t chunky.

      Reply
  15. Hi there,

    I’m Korean food lover from Malaysia. I’ve tried the above recipe and it went well.
    Hope to try other recipe some time.
    Thanks for sharing your great recipe

    Reply
  16. This turned out awesome. Great balance of flavors and easy to make. Thank you for sharing your recipe! One question though — what can you do with this kimchi when it turns too sour to eat? I left it out for a little over 24 hours before refrigerating and I think that was a mistake. I feel like it is souring too quickly. Also, would you mind posting a small batch mak kimchi recipe when you get a chance?

    Reply
    • Hi Latha, It’s good to hear your Kkakdugi turned out well! Are you in summer season? Like you said, over 24 hrs could be a bit too long to leave it out then. When you think it’s too sour, you can make Kimchi stir fried rice with this as well. I actually was going to share this recipe, but I finished my Kkakdugi before that happened. 🙂 Yes, Mak Kimchi is on my list already.
      Thanks for your suggestion.

      Reply
      • Hi Sue,

        Yes, it is summer season here and the kimchi was left out for about 28 hours. Next time, I will refrigerate summer kimchi sooner. :))

        Thank you for the suggestion to make kimchi fried rice with the over fermented Kkakdugi. Good to know, and we love kimchi fried rice.

        Reply
  17. Hey Sue,
    Your blog is amazing and I really love your food photography skills! Presentation is always the key to appetite.
    On a completely separate note, I’ve been looking for those glass jars for a crafts project, but I have no idea what they’re called. Where can I find them?

    Reply
    • Hi Jenny, Thanks for your kind words!
      These glass jars are called mason jars with clamp lid. I don’t know where you live, you can buy them from Amazon. http://amzn.to/1DoKKUk Or you could try kitchenware stores. Some $1 stores (bargain stores) also sell them. 🙂

      Reply
    • Hi Sue,

      I’m a new reader and am definitely wanting to try this recipe. I’ve been craving radish kimchi for a few months. I’m wondering how I’d modify the technique if I didn’t want to use a mictowave. Could this be done stovetop? I realize this would extend my active cooking time but I don’t think i mind.

      Thanks!

      Reply
        • Hi Maria, Are you talking about the rice porridge? If you’re using a stovetop method, simply boil the rice flour and the water in a pot until they turn sticky and gluey. 🙂 Make sure you don’t burn it. It shouldn’t take long since the quantity is quite small. Enjoy!

          Reply
          • Thanks so much for the answer. I’m in the process of making this now. I had already put the sugar and salt on the radish by the time I realized that my family had eaten the whole head of garlic I had while I was out (!!!!!!). I made the seasoning paste without it and am wondering if my kimchi will be OK without it and if the garlic serves any purpose other than flavour in this recipe. If it’s for preservation, can I add it later? Thanks for your help. I like this recipe, it was very easy to follow. I’m going to try your ddukkbokki (sp?) recipe later. Yum.

          • Hi Maria, Salt will do the most of preservation work. (Garlic may do too, but it’s mainly used for flavour.) Though, I can’t imagine Kimchi without garlic. Lol. Let me know how yours turn out. 🙂 Also, I’m not sure about adding the garlic after Kimchi is made since I don’t have that experience. It’s up to you. 🙂

  18. Wow, Sue! Your blog is such a great resource for Korean cuisine! So happy to have found it because we love Korean food. Kimchi has been such a fun way to experiment with different vegetables. You have such great step by step photos!

    Reply
  19. Hello Sue,
    I absolutely love your website and eating Korean food! My favorite dish is Gopchang Jeongol but that’s wayyyy too hard to make at home! So whenever I get a craving I’ve got to fork out 39.99$ at my local Korean joint for a big pot that serves 2. Anywho, I have made this type of kimchi several times before, and wanted to see if you knew why sometimes it comes out crispy and delicious, and others so mushy and nasty! I leave it out for about the same time each batch.

    Reply
    • Thanks Amanda for your kind words! I don’t think I’ve ever tried Gopchang Jeongol. It’s really not my kind of thing. (I don’t like Sundae either.) lol
      I can possibly think of two reasons – 1. the radish wasn’t good one or 2. You put too much sugar. (My mum warned me earlier that if you put too much sugar, the radish goes wrinkly so it won’t be crispy). What do you think?

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for responding! You know what, I have been adding a little more sugar because I’ve heard it helps feed the bacteria…Not a ton of sugar, but more than usual. I will use less sugar, and make sure I get very fresh radish for next time, and I will report back to you then! 🙂

        Reply
        • Hi Amanda, I added rice porridge to feed the bacteria here. Maybe you can try that method instead of adding more sugar. 🙂 Hope this helps.

          Reply
  20. In Italy we only have daikon radishes and where I live those are quite hard to find. Thank you for your recipe and for sharing some other Korean culture bits and pieces. I might actually try to make my very first kimchi!

    Reply

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