This dongchimi (Korean radish water kimchi) tastes sweet and sour with a deep kimchi flavor when fermented. It’s wonderfully refreshing and the radish is crispy and crunchy, the apple making it naturally, mildly sweet.
This recipe has 2 uses: one is as a side dish to rice, and the other is for making cold kimchi noodle soup, my next recipe. I have a traditional dongchimi recipe on my website, but the traditional preparation makes a lot of radish and not much broth. I developed this quick-fermenting dongchimi recipe for my first cookbook, Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, with the purpose of making a lot of broth and a little radish.
In Korea dongchimi is usually made just before winter starts, when radish is in peak season and it’s firm, crispy, and sweet. But these days you can make it all year round. Keep it in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks, and when it runs out, make some more. You can make kimchi noodle soup with it or pair it with something on the dry side, like bulgogi, japchae, fish, or even just steamed sweet potatoes. With this dish they will go down easily.
Enjoy the recipe, and wait with your dongchimi for my next recipe, cold kimchi noodle soup! : )
Makes 1 gallon of radish water kimchi
- 2 pounds peeled radish (white radish or Korean radish), sliced thinly into discs
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
For the apple broth
- 1 to 1½ pounds sweet apples, cored, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon flour, optional
- 14 cups water, plus ¼ cup water
For the seasoning pouch
- 2 green chili peppers, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon peeled ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons hot pepper flakes (gochu-garu)
- Combine the radish and 3 tablespoons salt in a large bowl. Mix well and add to 1 gallon glass jar or plastic container. Let it sit for at least 2 hours to salt.
- Bring 14 cups of water to a boil over medium high heat in a large pot.
- Put the apple, onion, and flour (if used) in a food processor and process to a puree. Transfer the puree to the pot of boiling water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool it down thoroughly.
- Line a large strainer with a cotton sheet or double-folded cheese cloth. Place the strainer over a large bowl and pour the apple mixture into the cloth-lined strainer. Bring the edges of the cloth together, and twist them to create a package with the remaining pulp and liquid. Squeeze it tightly to force out the rest of the liquid through it, as much as you can.
- Discard the pulp left in the cloth. Add 3 tablespoons of salt and stir with a wooden spoon
- Tie the green chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and hot pepper flakes in a pouch made of double folded cheesecloth (or in a broth pouch).
- Pour the broth into the jar with salted radish.
- Immerse the seasoning pouch into the broth and squeeze it until the broth turns orange and the garlic, ginger, green chili pepper are infused into the broth. Leave it in the jar and put the lid on.
- Let it sit at room temperature for 2 or 3 days until it’s fermented. The fermentation time depends on your room temperature—the warmer your kitchen, the faster it will ferment. When the kimchi is fermented, it smells and tastes sour. Refrigerate it and serve cold.
- Serve as a side dish for rice. To serve, take out some radish disks, cut them into bite size pieces or matchsticks, and transfer to a bowl. Add some broth and serve.