• Eunji Han

Simple Dongchimi - Korean water radish kimchi

In my mind, kimchi is always red and spicy but believe it or not there is a whole other world of kimchi that exists.

Dongchimi (동치미) is a popular water kimchi made with Korean radish. The kimchi is often prepared in late fall or early winter using radishes harvested in fall. White kimchi recipes tend to originate from North Korea and are more popular in the North than in the South.

North Korean food tend to be simpler in seasoning and also need to last longer as their winters are colder and longer. Dongchimi is meant to last for a long time, up to 3 months during the winter and has been popular for many centuries.

I adapted this recipe from My Korean Kitchen's recipe.


  • 1 medium Korean radish or daikon radish (about 1 lb.)

  • 2 Tbsp coarse sea salt

  • 2 Tbsp sugar (raw)

  • 1 sliced scallion

  • 1 jalapeno chili (optional)


  • 2 cups water from the soaked radish in salt/sugar mixture

  • 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt

  • 1 Korean pear

  • 1/2 an apple - ideally fuji or a asian varietal

  • 1 small shallot

  • 1 small garlic

  • less than 1 inch knob of ginger (should be a 1 inch sliver peeled)


  • Wash the radish and peel the skin. Slice the radish into 2 inch sticks and place them into a mixing bowl.

  • Add 2 Tbsp sea salt and 2 Tbsp sugar to the radish and mix them. Let it rest for 30 mins for the radish to soften.

  • Rinse the radish under cold running water a few times to remove any residue salt and sugar. Save 2 cups of water from the rinsed radish.

  • Place the radish, green onion and chilies into an air tight container.

  • Combine all the brine ingredients and blend them. Strain the puree through a cheese cloth or strainer.

  • Make sure there are no chunks. Pour the liquid over the radish.

  • Close the kimchi container and leave it at room temperature for at least a day and then put it in the fridge. You can start eating it from 48 hrs to 72 hrs after making it.

  • If you see some bubbles in the broth that means it’s fermenting well.

  • Dong chimi can keep for up to 3 to 4 weeks when refrigerated.

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