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Dongchimi (Korean Radish Water Kimchi)

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 48-72 hours passive
  • Total Time: 72 hours
  • Yield: 2 liters 1x
  • Category: Pickles
  • Method: Brining
  • Cuisine: Korean
  • Diet: Vegan


Pickled daikon radishes served in its own salty and acidic brine. This is a popular Korean dish often served as a side.


  • 2 pounds Korean radish or daikon radish
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Asian pear (also called apple pear), peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 red apple such as honey crisp or Fuji, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 scallions, cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large, thumb size fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into sticks
  • 1 Korean chili pepper or jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional, to add heat)


  1. Peel the radish and slice into 2-inch long sticks. Place the sticks in a bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt on top. Toss the sticks using your fingers to evenly cover them with salt and let sit for 20-30 minutes, until the daikon has soften.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the water into a pot and add the sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Turn the heat to low and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Turn the heat off and let the liquid cool to room temperature.
  3. Rinse the daikon sticks under running water to remove the excess salt, until the sticks feel squeaky clean. Drain and gently squeeze the pieces to remove excess water.
  4. Place the onion, Asian pear, apple, scallions, garlic cloves, ginger, and chili pepper at the bottom of a kimchi container or jar, and place the daikon sticks on top. Pour the salt and sugar water into the container and close with a lid. Make sure that all the vegetables are submerge under water by pressing them down.
  5. Leave it to ferment at room temperature for 48-72 hours.
  6. Do a taste test after a day to see that the broth is developing sweet and tangy flavors. Also look for bubbles as it means it’s fermenting properly.
  7. When the dongchimi is ready – basically when you are happy with the taste – discard of the Asian pear and apple slices.

How to eat dongchimi

Scoop a ladle full of vegetable and put them in a small bowl. Pour a generous amount of broth, the same amount you would serve yourself for a soup, and serve cold.


Store dongchimi in a jar or other storage container, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 48
  • Sugar: 5.6g
  • Sodium: 2300mg
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 1.7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: pikled daikon

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