Young Radish (Chong Gak) Kimchi
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Easy Young Radish Kimchi (Chong Gak Kimchi)

A very simple kimchi with minimal ingredients made with Passion Altari or Altari Radish, a type of radish that's very tender and crisp with almost no pungency. 
Course Kimchi
Cuisine Korean
Keyword easy, gluten free, pickles, spicy
KoreanCategory Kimchi (김치)
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 10
Calories 31kcal
Author JinJoo Lee

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs young Korean altari radish
  • 1/4 cup Sea Salt (Trader Joe's) (for salting radish – see my Kimjang post for discussion on salt)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bunches green onion

Yangnyum (Seasonings)

  • 3/4 cup Korean red chili powder (Gochookaroo)
  • 3 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbs chopped ginger
  • 1/4 cup fermented anchovy liquid (Myeolchijeot or fermented shrimps, Saewoojeot)
  • 1-2 Tbs sugar
  • Pinch of salt (if needed)

Flour paste

  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Wash radish and clean off excess dirt and roots. Works best if you scrape the outside with the edge of a knife. Clean the edges where the root part ends and the green stems start. Cut off any yellow leaves or stems and the outer greens if they look tough. Cut off the pointy root ends of the radish.
  • Get a large bowl. Salt radish evenly by layering the radish and salting each layer as you go. Evenly spread out 1/4 cup salt throughout. Sprinkle 1 cup water on top of the salted radish. Gently turn the radish and salt water to make sure it gets an even coating of the salt and water. DO NOT handle the radish too much because it can bring out a grassy taste from the kimchi. Let it sit about 2 hours. In hot weather, 1 1/2 hrs should be sufficient. About half way through, turn the radish once making sure every radish is salted properly.
  • Wash and clean green onions (about a handful or 2 bunches). Cut some of the thicker root ends in half and then cut green onions into 2 in long pieces.

Prepare the flour paste:

  • Mix 1 Tbs flour and 1/2 cup water until there are no big lumps.
  • Heat 1/2 cup water in a pot.
  • When the water starts to boil, add the flour mixture and lower heat immediately.
  • Simmer while stirring often so the flour does not stick to the bottom and everything is evenly mixed. The paste is fully cooked when it no longer looks opaque (prob. 3-5 min on med heat). It is OK if there are some small lumps as long as there are no huge ones.
  • Set aside and let it cool.

Prepare the yangnyum (seasoning):

  • To the flour paste (should be cooled, it can be lukewarm but not too warm), add chili powder and mix it well.
  • Set aside for few minutes so the chili powder has a chance to soak.

Back to the picked radishes:

  • Rinse it in cold water 2-3 times and drain. When rinsing, be careful when handling the radish because you can easily bruise the radish and release a pungent grassy taste. Just gently shake the salted radish in the water 2-3 times and then drain.
  • Cut the rinsed and drained radish into bite size lengths – about 2-3 in long. Leave the smaller radishes whole and cutting larger ones along with some of the green stems attached.
  • If the radish is too big, you can cut it in half or even into quarters but leaving the top end intact.
  • In a large bowl, add the radish, green onions, fermented anchovy liquid, ginger, garlic and the chili flour paste.
  • Gently mix the kimchi and yangnyum until everything is blended. Add 1-2 Tbs sugar and salt to taste. Remember raw kimchi is supposed to taste a bit saltier than how you want it to taste when it’s ripe so if it tastes just right when it’s raw, then it’s not salty enough.
  • Finally, fill a container with the chong gak kimchi. Press the radishes down into the liquid to make sure there are no air pockets.
  • Store the kimchi at room temperature for 1-2 days to kick off the fermentation. In cooler temperature, you may need to leave it out longer. See my No Crazy Kimchi post for more detailed info on how to ferment kimchi.

Notes

  • Do I NEED to use flour or rice paste? Using paste is actually optional. The flour or rice paste serves as food for the bacteria, and it helps to ferment the kimchi so definitely use it in cold temperatures. It also helps with any green grassy taste from the radishes. See my Kimjang Day: Part 2 post for more info.
 
  • RICE vs FLOUR paste: Optionally, you can use rice paste or sweet rice paste instead of flour paste. Traditionally, flour paste is used for kimchi that uses radish or other greens because it is known to do a better job of taking away the grassy taste. It is also known to protect the minerals and vitamins in the radish so overall, it’s a better match with radishes.
 
  • Can I use fermented shrimps  (saewoojeot) or any other fish sauce instead of fermented anchovy liquid (myeonlchijeot)? Yes, you can use fermented shrimps instead of anchovy sauce or use both. I happened to have a great tasting fermented anchovies so I used the liquid.

Nutrition

Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 21.6mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.5mg