Young radish kimchi (열무김치, YeolMuGimChi) is a popular summer kimchi in Korea. It is also my favorite kimchi. The kimchi, all by itself, is very delicious to eat with rice. However, it is also very useful in other dishes such as in bibimbap and noodle dishes once it becomes well fermented. I made this kimchi with our home grown radishes. “Young radish” is the type of radish used, not just any radish that is young in age; the Korean name is “열무.” I used a special method to make kimchi broth for this recipe; however, you can skip that step and just use normal water instead. More summer recipes using this kimchi are coming, so stay tuned. 🙂
Yield: ½ Gallon
Short Korean Lesson
- YeolMu (열무) = Young Radish
- GukMul (국물) = Broth
- 1½ lbs Young Radish
- ½ Cup Onion
- 2 Green Onions
- 1 Red Hot Pepper
- 1 Cup Coarse Sea Salt
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Dried Anchovy Pack (or 6 Dried Anchovies)
- 6 Pieces Kelp (1×1 Inch)
- 1 Dried Shiitake Mushroom
- 1 Tbsp Sweet Rice Flour
- ½ Cup Hot Pepper Powder
- ¼ Cup Fish Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Apple, Ground
- 1½ Tbsp Garlic, Minced
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- ½ Tbsp Sesame Seeds
- ¼ tsp Ginger, Minced
Obtain about 1½ lbs of young radish. You can grow it by yourself, as I did, or you can buy it in a Korean grocery store. Remove any bad parts and wash them several times. Cut them into about 1½-inch lengths.
Spread out a handful across the bottom of a big mixing bowl evenly. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt on top. Repeat this process until there is no more remaining radish. I used about 1 cup of sea salt. Set it aside for about an hour.
Meanwhile, make some broth for the Kimchi. Add 4 cups of water, 1 dried anchovy pack (or 6 pieces of dried anchovies), 6 pieces of kelp (1×1 inch), and 1 dried shiitake mushroom. If you do not have these ingredients, or want to skip this step, just use water instead.
Once the broth starts to boil, cook for about 5 minutes and then remove the kelp. Then cook for another 5 minutes on medium-high. Discard the anchovy pack and mushroom. Let it cool down.
Pour 1 cup of the broth (or water) in a saucepan and add 1 Tbsp of sweet rice flour. (Save the leftover broth for later.) If you do not have sweet rice flour, use normal rice flour or white wheat flour. Stir until the flour completely dissolves in the broth. Cook on medium. Keep stirring it.
When the rice flour mixture starts bubbling and thickens, it is done. Let it cool while you are preparing the other ingredients.
Flip the radish pieces over a couple times (but not too often) so that they will get salted evenly. For better flavor and texture, you have to handle them very gently. After salting the radish for about an hour, a liquid will start to form. Gently rinse the radish twice and then drain.
Combine the cooled rice flour mixture and all the ingredients for the sauce: ½ cup hot pepper powder, ¼ cup fish sauce, 2 Tbsp ground apple, 1½ Tbsp minced garlic, 1 Tbsp sugar, and ¼ tsp minced ginger. Mix everything together.
Oops – don’t forget the ½ Tbsp of sesame seeds. 😉 Slice ½ cup worth of onion and 1 red hot pepper thinly. (You can use a green hot pepper.) Chop 2 green onions into 1-inch lengths. If the green onions are too thick, divide them in half.
Add the drained radish and chopped veggies into the sauce.
Mix everything gently. It is really important to handle the young radish gently.
Put the kimchi in a glass jar and pour about 1 cup of the broth you saved (or water) inside.
Close the lid, but leave it on loose. Leave it out at room temperature overnight. Then store it in the refrigerator. It will take one or 2 weeks before it is well fermented.
Oh! It looks delicious and I can’t wait to eat some of this in my bibimbal and bibimguksu. Yummy~~~ 🙂 Try it someday.