Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Julienned Radish Kimchi (채장아찌)

I'm realizing that I haven't done a Korean post in a long time! I posted a photo of some grilled samgyupsal (pork belly) and I had a 'What I Ate' post back in May but I haven't done a proper recipe post since March. Whoa. That's not to say I haven't eaten plenty of Korean food, but I guess I haven't made anything new (or at least I haven't documented it) in a while.

A few weeks ago, I made julienned radish kimchi. It's probably the easiest kimchi to make and it can be eaten right away, unlike most kimchis that need some time to ferment. Because the radish is cut up so small, the seasonings penetrate quicker. And actually, this mixture is usually what is used to season whole cabbage kimchi, but that's a story for another day.
Ingredients [makes 2 to 3 cups of kimchi]
1 lb Korean radish (or daikon)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 chopped scallion
3 to 5 tablespoons hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 to 2 tablespoons Korean fish sauce (almost every Asian country has its own type of fish sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
*you'll also need a mandolin and plastic gloves

The first step is to cut up the radish. If you have a mandolin, this step will be easy. Use the little 'teeth' attachment to julienne the radish into skinny strips. If you don't have a mandolin, you can also julienne the radish by hand. It will just take more time.

If you have little nuggets of radish leftover (because you didn't want to slice off your fingers in the mandolin by pushing tiny pieces across the blade), you can just slice them thinly and toss them in the bowl too. Then, add in your scallions, minced garlic (I used a garlic press), grated ginger, hot pepper flake, fish sauce, salt, and sugar. Go light on the hot pepper flakes and fish sauce at first. You can always add more if you want but you can't take it out after you'd added too much.
Then, just go after it with your gloved hands. You could use your bare hands too, but gochugaru will probably stain your skin and get under your fingernails.
At first, the mixture will look like white pieces of radish with red flecks but slowly and surely, the radish will start to get stained and turn more and more red. The longer you mix and massage, the redder it will be (though obviously, there is a stopping point). Give the kimchi a taste and add more gochugaru if you want it to be spicier and more fish sauce if you want it to be a bit saltier. Keep in mind that as the kimchi ages and ferments, it will soak up more of the seasonings and get saltier and spicier anyway.
If you are serving immediately, you can add a dash of vinegar (either apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar) to fake a pickled taste. If not, you can place your kimchi in containers and stick in the fridge and it should be ready to enjoy 24 hours later.
Here's the recipe page:

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