Cubed Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)
If you like Korean restaurant-style cubed radish kimchi (kkakdugi), this recipe will guide you how easily you can make it at home with step-by-step-instructions. It creates the most crunchy and refreshingly tasting radish kimchi.
Who can resist the crunch, refreshing, and perfectly fermented Korean cubed radish kimchi called, Kkakdugi (깍두기)? If you like Korean restaurant-style cubed radish kimchi, this recipe is the one you should try.
One Korean food that I am dying to eat right now is a bowl of hot Ox Tail Bone Marrow Soup (seolleongtang, 설렁탕) and this kkakdugi kimchi as a side dish. Traditional Radish Kimchi (Seokbakji) is another common radish kimchi for the particular soup. In fact, all kimchi recipes are great to serve with, if you ask me.
I was lucky to get a bunch of Korean radish the other day and I am so~ so~ so~ excited to share this wonderful recipe with you.
I was craving for the restaurant style cubed radish kimchi. I did some research to find out the secrets of restaurant kimchi recipes. And the result I’ve found has two similar ingredients that I already knew about. One is the carbonated drink, and the other is the sweetened yogurt drink.
It is not so much different in terms of making the kimchi between home style vs restaurant style. Many home-cooks have been using the carbonated drink (such as sprite or 7-up) in their radish kimchi to mimic the restaurant flavor.
Yogurt drink (such as Yakult) is another new idea, but I can’t prove how it will work since I don’t have any access to the Yakult where I live now.
But, you will be surprised to see what I added in the recipe to mimic the flavor. And it turned out to be the best Kkakdugi I ever made. No joke!
Use Korean Radish for Kkakdugi
This is Korean radish and you must use this radish to get the right texture and taste.
You can add the green leafy parts of the radish if you want. I usually don’t. Instead, I freeze them and use them in the soup later on. Delicious!
I have another kimchi recipe that uses green leafy parts of radish or turnip; Turnip Green Kimchi. Korean radish greens are great for that. Korean radish is also used in making Korean Water Kimchi (Nabak Kimchi)
How To Make Cubed Radish Kimchi
Slice the radish into 3/4-1 inch thick disks, then slice into cubes. They will reduce in size as they go ferment, so don’t cube them too small.
In a large bowl or kitchen sink, sprinkle salt and sugar, and toss. Let them soak for 45-60 minutes.
Some people add carbonated drink to mimic the taste at this stage but I don’t think it is necessary in this recipe.
When the soaking part is done, rinse the radish cubes once, drain, and place them in a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Korean chili flakes and toss well. This extra chili flakes will help radish to keep the vibrant red color.
In a blender, add diced onion, garlic, ginger, salted shrimps.
Now here comes the “IT” factor of this recipe!
“Is this milk?” Yes, it is. How bizarre to add milk in kimchi?
Well, all I can say is that it DOES the wonder. Milk will create a gas during the fermentation and it adds a very good flavor to the radish kimchi. It won’t curdle, but makes your kimchi very desirable in both taste and texture.
Add the chili flakes and anchovy sauce to the onion/milk mixture. I added Korean style corn syrup (mulyeot) to the mixture. You can substitute the corn syrup with sugar instead.
Pour over to the radish cubes. Add some chopped green onion to bring the contrast color!
Toss together. Taste and adjust your seasoning by adding more anchovy sauce and sugar.
How to Ferment and Store Kkakdugi Kimchi
- Put kkakdugi in an airtight container (Glass container with an airtight lid is the best), and let it sit on the room temperature for 1-2 days depends on your room temperature.
- You will see some bubbles forming on the surface. Then transfer to the refrigerator and continue to ferment for 7 days.
- You might want to keep a box or two of baking soda in your fridge to keep the odor off, so the smell won’t smear into the other food items.
Above is my radish kimchi after 7 days of fermentation. Perfectly crunch and refreshingly cool! So good that I just keep eating one after another.
Now, my Kkakdugi kimchi motivates me to cook up some Korean recipes to serve together. But for the moment, I just serve myself with a bowl of instant ramen noodle soup with it. Delicious!
Cubed Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)
- 2 medium size Korean radish
- 1/4 cup Korean coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
kimchi seasoning paste
- 5 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), divided
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger, chopped
- 2 tbsp Korean salted shrimp
- 5 tbsp milk
- 1-2 tbsp Korean anchovy sauce
- 2 tbsp Korean corn syrup (mulyeot), or 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 green onion , diced
- Clean the radish with a kitchen brush and rise well. Slice it into 3/4-1 inch disks, then slice into 3/4-inch cubes.
- Place the radish cubes in a large mixing bowl or in a kitchen sink (with the drainage closed). Sprinkle with salt and 2 tablespoon sugar, and toss well. Let them sit for 45-60 minutes. Toss the radish half the way to soak evenly. Rinse the radish cubes once and drain well in a colander.
- Put the radish in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Korean chili flakes and toss. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- To make the kimchi seasoning paste, process together onion, garlic, ginger, salted shrimps, and milk in a blender. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the remaining 4 tablespoon Korean chili flakes, anchovy sauce, and corn syrup (or sugar). Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the radish cubes and green onion. Pour the kimchi seasoning paste and toss all together until every radish cubes are well coated with the paste. Taste and adjust seasoning with more anchovy sauce and sugar according to your taste.
- Transfer the radish kimchi into an airtight container and let it sit in the room temperature for 1-2 days. Then store the kimchi in the refrigerator for 7 days for a good fermentation before you serve. Enjoy!
Fantastic! Great flavor and texture. I like it even better than cabbage kimchi
What is the difference between Korean radish and daikon? And what is the difference between anchovy sauce and fish sauce? Thank you!
Korean radish is rounder and shorter than daikon radish, and is greener at the bottom. Korean radish is sweeter than daikon. It also retains its crispness throughout when it is made into kimchi even after kimchi is fermented. Radish kimchi made with daikon radish gets mushy eventually. If you can’t find Korean radish, you can replace with daikon, but I recommend to consume it soon.
Korean anchovy sauce is literally comes from fermented anchovy and salt. SE Asian fish sauce can be from anchovy and other fish (or even krill). Fish sauce are usually saltier than Korean anchovy sauce. You can replace fish sauce for Korean anchovy sauce in the recipe with a less amount.
Hope these help. Thanks.
Hi what can i substutute the milk with ? thanks for the recipie !
You can substitute with a drinkable yogurt (kefir) or just leave it out. Milk adds enzyme to speed up the fermentation process and makes kimchi more robust in flavor.
Thanks for sharing the article I always appreciate your topic
Thanks for your article for sharing
Hi from France! Is it possible to add dairy-free milk to make a vegan version? Merci
Yes, you can skip the milk.
Hi! After fermentation will you still taste the milk? Am asking because my mum doesn’t like the smell of milk. thks!
No, you won’t taste any milk at all.
Hi Holly.. I noticed that you don’t use any rice flour or starch on the recipe. Does the milk work as a substitute for the flour? Because all this time i always use rice flour on my kimchi. Thanks.
Unlike cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi can be made either with or without the rice flour or any starch component. Try this recipe. You will have a very tasting radish Kkacttugi kimchi.
Thanks for sharing your recipes…Can you convert 2 medium size Korean radish to pound, please? I’m really want to try your recipe ….thanks.
1 medium size radish is usually around 1 lb. So the total weight of the radish in this recipe could be between 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. Thanks!
Thanks for your quick respond…I tried it and waiting the result. Thanks again!
Thank you for sharing your recipe. I notice you have another pose on radish kimchi which is slightly different from cubed radish kimchi. May i know if there is any difference in the taste?
There isn’t much difference in taste but the cubed radish kimchi recipe is closer the restaurant style kimchi taste, which is mellower yet pungent, while the other is more robust. Hope this makes sense. Thanks!
I want to try making kakdugi but since this has milk in it, do we have to eat it up quickly?
The milk will help the fermentation. You need to keep the Kkadugi in the room temeprature for 2 days first, then continue to ferment in the refrigerator for at least 5 days before you eat.
Has anyone tried this with adding more vegetables, like carrots? Thanks, great recipe Holly.
what is salted shrimp? is it same as chinchalok? where can I find in sg?
It is similar to chinchalok. You can find the Korean salted shrimps in many Korean grocery stores in Singapore. If not, substitute with chinchalok.
I made it Holly. We just have to eat it after 3 days. Seven days were too tempted. They are well fermented and restaurant grade A++++ recipe. Thank you so mucho!!!
I made mine yesterday and it’s sitting in the kitchen. Eight more days to go!!! I love your recipes so so much as they inspires me to cook more proper way. You are amazing!
I don’t understand adding sugar, corn syrup, carbonated beverage, or yakult in kkakdugi kimchee. My Mom or grandma never add any of that to the Kimchee. I find that i personally don’t like restaurant Kkakdugi for the unpleasant sweet aftertaste left on my tongue and now I know why. I ‘ll stick to making Kkakdugi they way my family makes it. Thank you for the restaurant version insight.
Sweetener in the kimchi recipe is totally personal choice. If your radish is sweet enough, you provably don’t even need any sugar. Everybody has their own way of making recipes differently than others. If you don’t like the restaurant style Kkakdugi, then it is your choice not to add carbonated beverage in them when you make your kkakdugi at home. I agree some restaurant kkakdugi have a sweeter aftertaste. I also found that some people like that. Sweeter Kkadugi or not, that is the question. haha!
So happy for you, it’s amazing products, I live in Bucuresti / Romania – anunturi gratuite so hopefully one day `ll be able to do it myself, lots of love and hugs happy to welcome you in this great day of anunturi gratuite. Pupiciii byeeee
I have never tried korean radish before! you definitely have inspired me to go out and buy some to make this yummy recipe.. looks delicious and jam packed full of flavour. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for sharing the secret ingredient with us! Now you have me craving kim chi at 10:30 am while sitting in my office!
Ha ha, sorry to make you crave kimchi in the morning. Hope your craving was taken care of soon after.
kimchee is perfect anytime of the day!
This looks like a good recipe – I love kimchee. I do have a question, though. What can I substitute for the shrimp? In my old age I have become allergic to all shell fish (and non-shell shell fish like calamari and octopi) and though I love it cannot safely eat any. Do you have a suggestion – other than just leave it out? I can eat anchovy and most other fish. Thanks so much.
P.S. I’d rate the recipe but have not made it yet.
Hi Kate, you can omit the shrimp and increase the amount of anchovy sauce. (Good thing that you are not allergic to anchovies!) Hope you get to try this recipe, and please, let me know if you have more questions.
I don’t add any shrimp or anchovy…my mom never used it, so I tend to prefer all my kimchee without the fish taste.
The idea of milk is very interesting. Whey is often used in fermentation. I’ll have to give this a go.
Holly, how much 7-up or yougurt do I add in?? I’ve added 7-up to Bibinpop to make it less
hot, cause I just use the mixture of kochujun paste,sugar or honey, garlic, ginger etc. my chili
flakes get very dark not the bright red like yours. I’m going to throw out the flakes that I have,
it probably has to be refrig. to keep the nice bright color. Please get back to me as soon as you
can cause I’m going to the market to purchase the turnips and anchovy sauce and salted
shrimps. Love your recipes!!!! Charlotte Tanaka Honolulu, Hawaii
Sorry for the late reply. If you want to add carbonated drink or yogurt, it would still be the same amount. Chili flakes should be kept ina freezer once opened to retain its freshness. If not, they get moldy and smelly, and changes to dark color. Have fun making kimchi!
It sounds and looks delicious! Can’t wait to make it. Unfortunately, the radish I get at the market these days are not good at all – very spicy and almost bitter without any natural sweetness to it. I guess winter is the right season for radish. I put a few big wedges in with the last batch of kimchi I made (usung your recipe, thank you!), but they were so bitter that I ended up having to take them out. Is there a remedy to this problem? Or do I simply wait for better radish season? I’m very curious to try fermenting with milk. Yummy…Thank you for sharing.
Korean radishes taste the best in the fall. They are sweeter and milder. Taste the radish when raw and adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe. If your radish tastes bitter, increase the amount of sugar for soaking. Also increase the sugar amount in the filling too. That will help. Yes, the best option is to get the fall radish, but it is not always the case. Good luck!