Ggakdugi Kimchi (Korean Pickled Daikon Radish)

Ggakdugi Kimchi (Korean Pickled Daikon Radish)


For two 24-oz jars, you’ll need:

For brining: 1 large daikon, about 3 cups worth, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 tbsp salt

For spicy seasoning:

1 2-inch knob of ginger, grated or minced finely

4 or more cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp Mam Ruoc (Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Paste) or Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)

1 tbsp or more of gochujang (Korean chili paste)

2 tsp sugar Optional: Scallions, or chives or whatever alliums you wish

For non-spicy seasoning: 2 tblsp sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar


Peel and cut daikon into 1-inch chunks. In a big bowl evenly mix 2 tbsp of salt over the daikon.

Fill up the bowl with water until the daikon is covered. Put a plate over the daikon and something heavy to weigh it down. I use my mortar.

Leave overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the brined daikon into a colander and rinse. With your hands, squeeze out excess moisture. Now it’s time to make your seasoning mixture for the spicy version. Take a knob of ginger and a few garlic cloves and mince it in the food processor. Dump it into a big bowl and add a few tsps or so of shrimp paste, a tbsp or more of Korean chili paste (the more the spicier), and 2 tsp sugar.

It must be the bright red Korean chili flakes and/or paste. Other chilies won’t taste the same. Mix thoroughly and taste. Make adjustments if necessary. Add any scallions or greens, then the drained daikon. Use gloves if you don’t want your hands to get smelly. Mix thoroughly.

Pack the kimchee into jars about 75% full. You don’t want to fill it to the brim as the kimchee will actually bubble as it ferments and may pop the top if it’s too full. But do pack the kimchee into the jar tightly so that it can ferment better.

For the non-spicy version Add 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 or 2 tbsp of sugar, depending on how sweet you want the pickles to be. Mix with the daikon thoroughly and pack into the jar. Fill the jar with water. Screw the lid on tightly and in about a week, it’ll turn to pickles. Try eating some fresh if you like, or set the jars at room temperature for a few days to ferment, then refrigerate.