Easy Radish Kimchi - traditional recipe

Easy 6 ingredient Radish Kimchi based on a traditional recipe that has been around for generations in the southern part of South Korea. So delicious yet so simple.
Course Pickles, Side Dish, Vegetables
Cuisine Korean
Keyword seokbakji, simple, spicy
KoreanCategory Kimchi (김치)
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 8 people
Calories 67kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 2 large Korean radish (approx 1 lb or 800g each x 2)

For Brine

  • 5 cups (approx 1200ml) water (spring water)
  • 7 tbsp (approx 100ml) coarse Korean sea salt (with bittern removed)

For Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour paste 120 ml (10 Tbs water + 1 Tbs sweet rice flour)
  • 4 Tbs Korean red chili powder (Gochukaru) – adjust to taste
  • 2 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 4 Tbs Korean fermented anchovy sauce (멸치액젓 myeolchi aekjeot ) or fish sauce


  • Rinse radish under water and cut into 2 1/2 inch (6cm) chunks. Do NOT peel.
  • Turn each radish chunk 90° and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices.
  • Make brine by mixing 5 cups lukewarm water (use cold water in summer) and 7 Tbs sea salt.
  • Pickle radish in brine for 3 hrs. Turn over once to make sure the everything gets brined evenly.
  • Make sweet rice flour paste my mixing 1 T sweet rice flour and 10 Tbs water and bring to boil. Simmer for 7-8 min while stirring often. A whisk works well. Let it cool.
  • Make seasoning by adding remaining seasoning (red chili powder, garlic, ginger, myeolchi aekjeot) to cooled rice flour paste. Mix it well.
  • When radish is fully pickled, drain radish until there’s no additional liquid.
  • In a bowl, add radish and kimchi seasoning mix. Use plastic gloves (your hands may sting later if you use your bare hands) to mix everything well so that each radish piece gets nicely coated with the red stuff.
  • That’s it!! Get a glass jar or plastic container large enough (leave some extra room on top for expansion) and put radish kimchi into it. Try to leave as little air pockets as possible. It will look like there’s not enough liquid but if your radish is fresh and juicy, you enough liquid will form in a couple days.
  • Leave out at room temp for 2 – 3 days (shorter in summer) until it is just about ripe.


You can buy all ingredients online (except for radish) at my Amazon store so check it out!
Will keep in fridge for weeks and even months if temp is low enough. Add 1 tsp of sugar for faster fermentation and sweeter taste. See my No Crazy Kimchi post for more details on how to ripen Kimchi.
Korean Cheonilyeom Sea Salt for Kimchi is much less saltier than regular coarse sea salt so reduce the amount when using non-Korean sea salt.
Adapted from Sunee Kang's kimchi cookbook


Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1185IU | Vitamin C: 19.2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.1mg