Radish Kimchi

Radish Kimchi

I speak three languages;

#1: Standard Korean with a little accent
#2: American English with some accent

#3: Southern Korean with a huge accent

I consider myself very lucky to be able to communicate with people by the chosen accent. #1 and #3 are the same language, but depends on people you talk to, sometimes it can be difficult to communicate. And sometimes.., you get unexpected and unwanted attention.

Why am I telling  you this? Because…, this Radish Kimchi represented my Korean accent so well.

After I finished high school in a small town of southern shore of Korea, I moved to Seoul.
It was a long time ago but I clearly remember. Whenever I opened my mouth to start talking, these Seoul-ians started laughing at me. It was all because of my strong southern accent. How strong was my southern accent?
… almost equivalent to Scottish accent to those who speak American English if I can compare.

Some loved it but the other some thought it was funniest thing they ever heard.
This radish kimchi (무우김치) reminds me of my humiliated(?) past.

One day my friend and I had bone marrow soup called “seolung-tang” in a small restaurant. The soup always accompanied by radish kimchi as a side dish. Seoul-ians call it “muoo kimchi“, and I or people in my hometown call it “mushi kimchi“.

The kimchi ran out before we finished the soup.  So I bluntly raised my hand and shouted toward the serving lady in the restaurant asking for more with my ever-sweet southern accent, “아줌마, 여게 김치좀 더 주이소…! (Excuse me, we need more kimchi here)”

Before I knew it, I could hear the giggling sounds from here and there. Basically everyone was laughing at my accent. That day I realized that in order to maintain my dignity(?) in this big city, I need to learn to speak their language.  So I decided to train myself to talk like the Seoul-ians ever since. It took several months until I became very natural.

So here it is, my lovely radish kimchi that I still adore regardless of all the mocking I had to deal with… :)

Well, thanks for reading my boring story. I will move on with the recipe now.

This type of radish kimchi is called Seokbakji.

The small cubed radish kimchi called “Kkattugi” is pretty much the same thing except the size and the shape. Seokbakji is more commonly eaten in the south while the Kkattugi is more common in Seoul and northern area of Korea. Seokbakji will give you the irresistible full bodied flavor and texture than Kkattugi if you compare, due to its fermentation effected by the shape and the size.

Radish is a vegetable of winter in Korea. Grab some good looking Korean radishes and make a batch of radish kimchi.  You will know why Koreans can’t get enough .


You MUST use Korean radish. Daikon radish won’t give the proper texture once fermented.


In a large shallow bowl add Korean coarse sea salt.


Grab a bottle of sprite or any lemon lime soda and mix with the salt. Make sure your salt is dissolved well.


Peel your radish and cut it with an angle as you turn the radish, about 1/2″ thick on the thickest part and very thin on the opposite end.

This free form cutting action is almost like cutting a wood stick to make a sharp tool when you go camping. Make any sense?


Soak the radish slices in a salt-sprite solution for 1 hour tossing once or twice during those time.


Once your radish well soaked, rinse them couple of times and drain well in a colander. Set aside.


Adding sea flavored stock to any kimchi is like adding wines to gourmet dish. It intensifies the pungent flavor of kimchi without the fish-like taste. It makes a huge difference. Hope you don’t skip it.

But if you can’t have seafood for any reason, then, replace the seafood stock with plain water.


Now, this is a small piece of cooked potato (microwaved).

In Kimchi making you will need some sort of starch form to help bind the filling to radish and to help the fermentation process.  You can use rice flour made into glue or plain cooked rice. Today I pick the potato for this recipe simply because I had one. You only need 2 tablespoonful of mashed potato.


Can’t imagine kimchi without onion and garlic. Dice them.


Put potato, onion, garlic, and the reserved stock stock in a blender and process until smooth.


Place the onion potato puree in a bowl and add chili flakes, anchovy sauce, and shrimp sauce (aka salted shrimp, saewoo0-jeot). Mix well.


And it will look like this…, sort of like – chili mush!


Mix the drained radish with your chili mush stuff and toss together very well. Place your fresh radish kimchi in an airtight container.


Rinse all the chili factor that was left behind in your mixing bowl with a little water and pour back onto the radish in the container.

Cover, seal and let them ferment in a room temperature for 1-2 days. You will see more water is getting extracted from the radish. That is a natural phenomenon and not to worry. Just toss them well and store your kimchi in the fridge for about 1 week before you dig in.

Radish kimchi is a great accompaniment to any Korean soup or stew dishes. Especially with noodle soups. But my best way to eat?  …with plain rice wrapped in roasted seasoned seaweed. Yum!!!

I still keep my southern tongue and uses whenever my mother calls me. To me it sounds unique and beautiful but I guess that is not to everyone’s ears. My husband, who doesn’t understand Korean, often think I was arguing with my mother over the phone, LOL!



Radish Kimchi

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: serve as a side dish for at least 10 people

Radish Kimchi


  • 1-1/2 lb (700g) Korean radish
  • 1-1/2cup (400ml) sprite
  • 1/3 cup Korean coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon cooked and mashed potato
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2" piece ginger
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup Korean chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoon salted shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt to taste, optional
  • For the anchovy stock;
  • 5-6 dried large anchovies
  • 1 piece (size or your palm) dried sea kelp
  • 1 cup water


  1. Peel the radish and slice them from the side to center as you pivot the radish to create one side thicker than the other, about 1/2" thick on the top. (see the tutorial)
  2. In a large shallow bowl dissolve salt in Sprite. Add the radish slices and soak for 1 hour. Toss radishes a couple of times during to get evenly salted.
  3. To make a stock, combine anchovies and sea kelp with about 1 cup water in a pot and bring to boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest until ready to use.
  4. In a blender combine garlic, ginger, onion, mashed potato, and pour 1/2 cup of anchovy stock. Puree until smooth.
  5. When the radishes are done with soaking rinse them a couple of times. Drain well.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, combine chili flakes, salted shrimp, anchovy sauce, sugar, and the onion garlic puree. Mix well to form thin batter.
  7. In a large shallow mixing bowl, combine radishes and and the chili filling. Toss well to coat. You just made a wonderful radish kimchi!
  8. Transfer the radish kimchi into an airtight container. Pour 1/2 cup of water to the mixing bowl you used to rinse out all the remaining chili filling. Pour the chili juice over the radish Kimchi.
  9. Cover and let it sit in the room temperature for 1-2 days. You will see more water is coming out of radishes. Toss well to even out the juice. Store the kimchi in the fridge for 1 week and your radish kimchi is ready to serve!


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  1. 1


    전 한국에 사는데도 김치 만드는거 전혀 못하고
    먹는거만 잘하거든요 ^^
    김치 맛있어요 만드는건 너무 복잡하고 어려워요

  2. 3


    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I love pretty much anything made with 무! My kimchi always turns out so salty, so I am curious to try your tip of using Sprite along with the salting step and see if that helps. :) I have some coarse Korean sea salt, but I am not sure if it is the right kind. I would describe it as being “soft” and “feathery.” Does that sound like the right kind of salt?

    • 4

      Holly says

      Hi Erica
      your salt sounds like seasalt flakes. They are good for recipes to season. You can use that for soaking to make kimchig but I would reduce the amount. Korean sea salt for Kimchi is similar to rock salt in texture and shape. Sprite helps sweeten the radish. Well ripen and fermented radish kimchi is the best of all!

  3. 6


    Thanks for sharing your story about your “satori” and the kimchi recipe of course. Though my Korean is limited, I’ve also suffered humiliation for mimicking my parents “Kyongs-sang-do” dialect and not being able to pronounce certain sounds properly. I wear it as a badge of honor now though!
    I find in cooking though that I have been gradually altering my tastes to prefer the sweetness in Seoul cooking more than to the full-on fishy, spicy salty flavor of my parents’ home towns. They will be visiting next week, so I will have to work on dialing back the sweet when I cook for them!
    You have a beautiful website! Thanks for maintaining such a comprehensive, lovingly illustrated guide to Korean cooking!

  4. 7


    My mouth is watering from these photos! I love your story of the kimchi… lost in translation. I fascinated that the Korean language differs so much from region to region! Thanks for a cute story and delicious-looking recipe, Holly! And happy new year!

  5. 9


    Hi Holly, one of my best friend is a Korean, and she grew up in Pusan. So she would have a southern accent? I should learn to make this so i can surprise her the next time she visits :)

  6. 10

    Jeanne says

    Great story… such a pity about the mocking and humiliation :-(. But you’ve gone waaay beyond all your mockers :-)

    I love radish kimchi, and I shall be trying to make it as you do. More power to you and your super blog!

  7. 11

    Maggie says

    Just wondering if the 1 tablespoon anchovy sauce is comercial fish sauce or the stock you made at home? Love your blog- just love Korean food!

  8. 13


    I LOVE Korean food so I’m so happy to find your site!!! My roommate in university was Korean and her mom always made us Kimchi. My absolute favourite was the radish kimchi and I can never find it in stores. So happy to have found a recipe!!!

  9. 14

    Matt says

    Hi Holly,

    I just took your 3 part instruction on kimchi. Sitting on my counter now are two beautiful glass jars of homemade kimchi- I had extra filling and radish so I made an impromptu additional batch.
    Thank you for the inspiration! I will let you know how it turns out.
    Matt from Miami FL

    • 15

      Holly says

      Hi Matt

      That is so awesome! Cheers to you!
      I do hope you like the taste. I am sure your kimchi will ferment very well in Florida. :)
      Thank you.

  10. 17

    Diana says

    Thank you for this recipe. How much sweet rice flour and water should I use to make this if I don’t want to use potatoe?

    • 18

      Holly says

      Mix about 3 tablespoon rice flour with 1/2 cup water and bring to boil and simmer to thicken up. Cool slightly and use about 3-4 tablespoonful of this rice glue to add to the kimchi filling.

  11. 19

    Diana says

    Can I use the plum extract in this recipe? I see that you used it in your 30minute kimchi recipe and I’m very curious about the plum extract :) If so, how much would I use and would I need to omit anything?

      • 21

        aspyn says

        Hello Holly! Im so happy you are back and feeling better! My name is aspyn, i had a question, i bought some radish kimchi and it was super crisp but i had to put it in a different container and after a day in the fridge its kind of soggy and limp. Is there a way to keep this from happening? With purchased or homade radish kimchi?

        • 22

          Holly says

          Hi Aspyn, radish kimchi doesn’t stay fresh that long unlike cabbage kimchi. However always store your kimchi in a airtight container to avoid air contact. Usually if radish kimchi gets too fermented it looses its crunch texture. If you kimchi seems going fermented fast, place egg shell (cleaned and wrapped in cotton or cheese cloth) in the kimchi. The shell will neutralize the acidity of kimchi and slow down the fermentation a little bit.

  12. 24

    Melina says

    I made the radish kimchi on Monday night, the radish used is not Korean just using local radish. On the 3rd night the radish has a bitter taste, do you know why? The crunchy texture is very good just wondering why a bitter taste. Recipe has 3 cloves of garlic / small size ginger / half apple & pear / 4 stalks of spring onion & chinese parsley / Koran chilli powder / 2 tbs salt & sugar

    • 25

      Holly says

      Chinese Parsley is too strong to use in kimchi and it may cause the bitterness in the flavor. Also depends on the type of radish, some is more bitter than the other. Korean radish is somewhat sweeter than other kind.


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