Korean radish kimchi, or kkakdugi, is crunchy and refreshing! With this easy 20-minute recipe, you can make authentic tasting kkakdugi that rivals top Korean restaurants.

Radish kimchi (kkakdugi) in a serving dish with chopsticks on the side.

When fall arrives, Koreans begin making kkakdugi, a type of kimchi made with sliced radish. I always remember my mom making big batches of her special radish kimchi every year in late fall. It was my favorite kimchi growing up!

Fully fermented, this Korean radish kimchi has a refreshing taste and a crunchy texture that’s hard to resist. It’s even better than the famous cabbage kimchi and other kinds of kimchi.

Most people know kkakdugi as cubed radish kimchi, but it can also be made with sliced radish in disk shapes, known as seokbakji kkakdugi, which I prefer. You can use this recipe for both styles.

With my recipe, it only takes 20 minutes to make, and you’ll love the clean taste of this fermented Korean dish. Once you try it, you can’t get enough!

A ladleful of fermented radish kimchi (kkakdugi).

Korean Radish (Mu)

To make radish kimchi with the right taste and texture, you need to use the right kind of kimchi radish. Korean radish, or mu (무), is a white radish known for its crisp texture and a flavor that blends subtle sweetness with a peppery kick.

It’s best in cool seasons, becoming sweeter in fall and winter. Radishes harvested in summer can be bitter.

This radish is great for many Korean dishes, like beef radish soup and mackerel radish stew. You can find Korean radish in major Korean markets or Asian grocery stores.

If you can’t find Korean radish, daikon radish is a good substitute. While daikon’s taste and texture are a bit different from Korean mu, it still has a decent crispness and taste.

Radish kimchi fermenting in a glass jar.

Ingredients List

Korean radish (Mu): When choosing a Korean radish, select one that is firm, has smooth, bright skin, and is medium-sized for optimal flavor and texture.

  • If leaves are attached, they should be vibrant green, indicating freshness – great for ponytail radish kimchi.

Kkakdugi kimchi seasoning:

  • Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru): This gives the kimchi its signature heat and vibrant red color.
  • Korean fish sauce (anchovy sauce), salted shrimp: Provides the unique robust taste.
  • Garlic, ginger: These are key aromatics, contributing a warm, spicy kick.
  • Sugar: Slightly sweetens the mix and helps start the fermentation process.
  • Cooked white rice: Acts as a binder for the seasoning and helps in fermentation.
  • Salt: Use Korean coarse sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Carbonated lemon-lime soda: Creates a fizzy brine, and adds a subtle sweetness. It also quickens the fermentation process.

How to make radish kimchi (kkakdugi)

Radish Preparation

  • For fresh radishes with smooth skin, give a light peel. If the skin is thicker, remove it completely.
  • Slice the radish with a knife into 1/2-inch thick disks, then quarter each disk. Transfer the radish pieces to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
    • If you prefer cubed radish kimchi, then cut the radish into 3/4-inch cubes.

Blend seasoning ingredients

  • Combine garlic, ginger, salted shrimp, cooked white rice, and 1/4 cup water in a blender or food processor.
  • Process until you achieve a smooth, slightly liquid consistency.

Make kimchi paste

  • Move the paste to a mixing bowl. Mix in the Korean chili flakes, sugar, fish sauce, and salt.
  • Pour in the carbonated drink and combine thoroughly.

Toss radish and kimchi paste

  • Mix green onion with the radish in the bowl. Drizzle the seasoning paste over the mixture, stirring to coat each piece uniformly.
    • While the seasoning might appear excessive, it’ll balance out during fermentation.
  • Store the radish kimchi in a sealed container or jar.


  • Let the kimchi rest at room temperature for 2-3 days. You’ll see gas bubbles emerging on top.
    • The radish will shed some water, thinning the seasoning as it ferments—this is expected and good!
  • After this period, give it a good mix and refrigerate for another 3-5 days.
  • By the end, your homemade kimchi should have a vibrant orange-red color with a tangy flavor and a crisp bite.
A serving dish filled with radish kimchi.

Holly’s Note on This Radish Kimchi Recipe

This kkakdugi recipe makes traditional radish kimchi (mu kimchi) quickly and easily. You don’t need to soak anything or make rice flour paste. You can whip up a batch in just 20 minutes.

  1. No Salting Required: Unlike other recipes that need you to salt the radish to draw out moisture, this simple method skips that step. You can start mixing with the kimchi seasoning right away. This speeds up the process and lets you prepare a batch quickly.
    • As it ferments, the radish naturally releases moisture, creating a savory brine. This adds to the kimchi’s unique sharp and refreshing flavor.
  2. Using a Carbonated Drink: This is a secret tip from Korean restaurants. They often use a carbonated drink when making kkakdugi. The soda’s sugar and bubbles speed up fermentation. Its sweetness balances the spice and adds a richer flavor.
  3. Radish Shape: While cubed radish is standard for kkakdugi, some people like slicing it into flat triangles for an old-fashioned look called seokbakji kkakdugi. This choice is all about personal preference. The recipe works for both styles, so you can stick with the traditional cubes if you prefer.
Korean radish kimchi (kkakdugi) in a serving dish.

What to eat with radish kimchi?

Kkakdugi pairs well with many dishes in Korean cuisine. Here are some great options:

How long does radish kimchi last?

Kkakdugi lasts several weeks when stored properly. In an airtight container in the fridge, it stays fresh for up to two to three months. The flavor and texture change over time, becoming more sour and pungent as it ferments.

Whether it’s fermented too long is up to personal taste, but it’s safe to eat unless you see mold, smell something unusual, or notice a slimy texture. Always trust your senses to check its freshness.

This recipe was originally published on January 16, 2013. Updated and republished for more information and accuracy. Please rate it and share your experience in the comments below! For more delicious recipes, subscribe to our newsletter!

Korean radish kimchi, kkakdugi, served in a bowl with chopsticks.

20-Minute Korean Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)

Korean radish kimchi, or kkakdugi, is crunchy and refreshing! With this easy 20-minute recipe, you can make authentic tasting kkakdugi that rivals top Korean restaurants.
4.80 from 5 ratings

Recipe Video


  • 2 3/4 lb (1.3 kg) Korean radish, or daikon radish
  • 3-4 stalks green onion, chopped

For kkakdugi seasoning paste

  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp cooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salted shrimp
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 6 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp Korean anchovy sauce
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) carbonated soda (lemon-lime flavor)


  • airtight glass container about 1 gallon in volume


Prepare the radish

  • If your radish is fresh and the skin is smooth, peel it lightly. For thicker skin, peel it off entirely. Cut the radish into 1/2-inch thick disks and then quarter each disk. (Alternately you can cut into 1-inch cubes) Place the radish pieces in a large mixing bowl and set it aside.

Make kkakdugi seasoning paste

  • In a blender or food processor, combine garlic, ginger, salted shrimp, cooked white rice, and 1/4 cup of water. Blend until the mixture forms a smooth, slightly runny paste. Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl.
  • Stir in Korean chili flakes, sugar, fish sauce, and salt. Add the carbonated drink and mix everything well.

Mix radish with seasoning

  • Add green onion to the bowl with the radish. Pour the seasoning paste over the radish and onion mixture, mixing well to ensure all pieces are evenly coated. The seasoning may seem excessive, but it will distribute more evenly as the radish ferments.
  • Transfer the radish kimchi into an airtight container or glass jar for storage.

To ferment

  • Let the kimchi sit at room temperature for 2-3 days, depending on the room temperature. You'll notice gas bubbles forming on the surface. As it ferments, the radish will release excess water, diluting the seasoning slightly — this is a positive sign!
    After 3 days, stir the mixture well and then move it to the refrigerator. Let it continue fermenting for another 3-5 days. By the end of this period, your homemade kimchi should have a bright orange-red hue, a refreshing and slightly sour taste, and retain a crisp, crunchy texture.
Calories: 25kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.1g, Saturated Fat: 0.04g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 29mg, Potassium: 315mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg
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