Making kimchi seemed a wonderful idea. I spent a lot of deep-in-the-night sleepless hours roving the internet while Mr. Tess was working in Philadelphia. Radish water kimchi made me laugh, especially when I heard about a cold noodle soup made with this pickle. The weather was beginning to be chilly in October, and I wanted to hold on to summer if only in my dining room.
Maangchi has an amazing site dedicated to Korean recipes, and below is my adaptation of her recipe for dongchimi. See her YouTube presentation at the bottom of this post. I don’t have a glass jar as large as the one she used, and the radishes at my favorite Korean store were quite large without their green leaves so my documentation takes these restrictions into account.
These pickles are absolutely delicious, especially the water which can only be called addictive: sour, salty, sweet, and popping good…
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Radish Water Kimchi
adapted from Maangchi
- 3 medium Korean radishes, about 2 pounds, cut into palm-sized chunks
- ¼ cup sea salt (or Kosher salt)
- a good fistful of green kale
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 2-3 green chili peppers, stemmed
- 2-3 red chili peppers, stemmed
- 1 Korean pear, cut into chunks (I used a large bosc pear)
- 3 green onions
- ⅓ cup onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
- You’ll also need a gallon glass jar, a small piece of cheesecloth, and about 5-6 cups of water.
Salting: drawing out the liquid
Wash the radishes in cold water with a vegetable brush.
Put the salt into a large and shallow bowl. Roll each radish in salt with your hands to coat evenly.
Put the salted radish into the glass jar.
Put some green kale leaves on top, then add the remaining salt.
Close the lid and keep it in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. I put it out in my unheated garage: it was cold here in October when I made this!)
Fermenting: with more water & spices
Wrap ginger and garlic in cheese cloth and tie the ends. Place it inside the jar. Poke a few holes in the chili peppers with a the tip of a knife, then tuck them between the radish chunks. Do the same with the onion, green onions, and pear. Pour in about 5 to 6 cups of water. Stir the brine mixture with a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the salt.
Close the lid and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 days until it ferments. When it ferments, the brine will get a little milky, smell and taste a little sour, and some bubbles will float to the surface. At that point, always store it in the refrigerator and take some out whenever you serve it.
Serve with rice, noodles, steamed sweet potato, steamed potato, or rice cake.
Cut a chunk of radish into ⅛ inch thick quarter-moon pieces. Or slice into julienne strips. Arrange it in a serving bowl with a little fermented brine. Garnish with chopped green leaves, red and green chili pepper. Serve cold, with some ice cubes if you like.