With crunchy radish in a sweet and spicy pickling sauce, radish kimchi goes well as a side for grilled meats and soups as well as a bowl of rice.
Kimchi is one of those dishes that tends to get categorized. The boldly-flavored, spicy-tangy-sour fermented condiment is an iconic staple of Korean cuisine. It’s the universal star of any banchan spread, the selection of small side dishes that accompany rice ahead of the main course of a traditional Korean meal. Its prized, signature funk is used to add complexity to any number of stews, rice and noodle dishes, and savory snacks.
Kimchi is special to Koreans, traditionally playing an important role in the diet by preserving vegetables during the hot summers and freezing-cold winters. It adds funk, fragrance, and flavor, pairing well with meats and adding variety to any meal.
Like a fine wine, radish kimchi tastes better as it matures. I love that you can enjoy a batch over the course of its fermentation. It starts off vibrant and fresh, like a pungent salad. As the flavors meld, it mellows out, bringing out the sweetness of the gochugaru (chili flakes) and radish. As it continues to mature, lacto-fermenation converts the sugars into lactic acid giving it a distinctly tangy taste and adding a whole new dimension to the humble pickle.
This kimchi is easily adaptable to your taste. With the optional additions of salted shrimp, fish sauce, gochugaru, you can make these radishes as funky and spicy as you like.
1 large Korean radish
1 tbsp. (15ml.) of Himalayan salt
1 tbsp. (15ml.) of granulated sugar
2/3 cup Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
1/4 cup Chinese nira (chives)
1 tsp. ginger paste
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fish sauce
Peel Korean radish
Rinse in cold water and pat dry.
Cut it into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes. Put into a large bowl.
Add Himalayan salt, granulated sugar, and mix well.
Drain the juice from the radish into a small bowl.
Add cloves of garlic, ginger paste, Chinese nira, fish sauce, Korean chili flakes, and cup of the juice from the radish.
Mix it up well until the seasonings coat the radish cubes evenly, and the radish looks juicy.
Put the cubed kimchi radish into a glass jar and let ferment.