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Kkakdugi (radish kimchi)

Kimchi comes in all shapes and sizes, but this Kkakdugi (깍두기) made with large Korean radish is a perennial favorite. With crunchy cubes of radish in a sweet and spicy pickling sauce Kkakdugi goes well as a side for grilled meats and soups as well as a bowl of rice.

Course Condiments & Pickles
Cuisine Korean
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Fat, Pescatarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 900 grams Korean radish (daikon is a little different but works)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup scallions (~3-4 scallions, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup gochugaru (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/4 cup reserved radish liquid
  • 3 large cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Saeujeot (salted brine shrimp belacan or fish sauce also work)


  1. Wash the radish thoroughly. You can peel if if you like, but I like leaving the skin on because it adds a nice texture.
  2. Cut the ends off the radishes and stand them upright. Slice into 4 even slices (about 1/2" thick). Place each slice flat on the cutting board and slice 4 times lengthwise to make 4 sticks about 1/2" in diameter. Turn the sticks 90 degrees and slice the them into 1/2" cubes.
  3. Add the cubed radish into a Ziploc bag along with the salt and toss to coat. Seal the bag and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours to allow moisture to seep out.
  4. Put down a layer of paper towels on a large wire rack and squeeze the radish before laying them out on the rack, saving the liquid in the bag for the next step. Cover with a single layer of paper towels and let them dry for 24 hours in a breezy place.
  5. To make the the Kkakdugi, add the scallions, gochugaru, radish liquid, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and Saeujeot to a large bowl and stir well until combined. Add the dried radish and stir to coat evenly.
  6. Transfer to a container . If you use glass, be sure not to tighten the lid too tight as the radish will release gasses as it ferments. Let the kimchi ferment in the fridge for at least a week. The kimchi will naturally turn tart as it ferments, so this is a desirable quality.