Daikon Kimchi experiment

Daikon Kimchi experiment

Growing daikons is very easy; cooking something nice with them is a bit more demanding. I tried a Korean recipe, radish kimchi or Kkakdugi it's called (not that I could pronounce that!). I never tasted it before, so I can’t tell how close I am to the original.

What I did is a cross of several recipes, looking for less exotic ingredients. The main recipe I referred to is this one.

I harvested a scant 2 kg of radishes, leaving enough for further experiments. All of the original recipes ask for 4 tbsp of Korean chilli flakes per kilo of radishes, I reduced the amount to maybe half of it and I used ordinary chilli flakes, it seemed just too much. Instead of the scant 4 scallion stalks, I used garlic chives, because that’s what I have in abundance after planting it around the currant bushes to fence off the currant borers (it did not work). I replaced the rice flour with plain flour and reduced the amount of salt to get a milder taste. Fish sauce is about the only exotic ingredient in my version. This was the only recipe mentioning apples, so I left it out. Most of the recipes don’t mention fermentation, but isn’t that the most important step?

The quantities given are for approximately 1 kg:

1 kg daikon washed,

1 Tbsp salt dissolved in 1 litre of water (brine),

1 big bunch of garlic chives cut finely,

1 tbsp plain flour + ¼ cup of water

2 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp fish sauce

Chilli flakes to taste

1 tbsp garlic minced

½ tbsp. ginger

How to make daikon kimchi:

  1. Peel radishes wherever necessary and cut them into cubes.
  2. Place them in a non-metallic (and possibly non-plastic) bowl, add the brine and let it sit for several hours.
  3. Drain brine out in a colander, place the radishes back into the bowl and mix the chillies and the green onions in.
  4. Cook a porridge with the water and the flour: Place the flour into a small skillet adding the cold water little by little stirring to avoid clumps. Cook for some minutes constantly stirring.
  5. Mix the porridge with the sugar, the fish sauce, the garlic and the ginger and then combine it well with the radishes.
  6. Find a glass very clean (!) jar which is pretty straight so that you can weigh it down with another jar, a snug fitting clean (!) stone or similar. Fill with the radish mixture, press down and then weigh down.

daikon kimchiAfter only a day a lot of brine developed. We tried the result after three days and it was incredibly pungent, not from the spices but from the radish. After a few days, more the pungency mellowed and the result was quite nice. I will use that recipe again!

Nicola Bludau

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