Dongchimi (동치미) Radish Kimchi

February 11, 2011 § 8 Comments

Dongchimi is one of the easiest types of kimchi to make, and most delicious.  Traditionally, it is often enjoyed during the winter, but I think due to its refreshing and ice-cold nature, it can be enjoyed all year round.  It is a non-spicy variety of kimchi well-suited for people who like anything pickled, vinegary, and tasty! And this one happens to be vegan.

Dongchimi kimchi is traditionally served in large wedges that are cut into smaller pieces when serving, but I am a glutton for simplicity. So, I cut my radish into slices or little fat french-fry pieces.  For this post, I decided to cut them into the french-fry shape, but you can also leave them as 1/2 inch slices (as the recipe states).

Dongchimi Kimchi

3-4 medium-sized Korean radish, about 6-8 pounds peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup coarse sea salt (use 3/4 cup for 8-10 pounds of radish)
2 large onions, quartered
10-12 green onions, cut into 3-inch slices
2 large red jalapeno peppers, tops trimmed and halved (with seeds for added spiciness)
2 large green jalapeno peppers, tops trimmed and halved (with seeds for added spiciness)
Around 40 garlic cloves, tops trimmed and cleaned
1 large Korean pear, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup white sugar (if possible, use organic cane sugar)
2 quarts water


1. Prepare your radish. After you’ve completed slicing, put the pieces into a large bowl and sprinkle 1/2 cup of coarse sea salt over them. Mix thoroughly with your hands, making sure all the radish are coated with a layer of salt, and then let it stand for one hour.

2. While the radish is marinating, prepare the rest of your vegetables, garlic, pear and ginger.

3. After one hour, the radish will have accumulated about a cup and a half of salt water mixture. Drain the radish and reserve the salty liquid to taste later on.

4. Combine the radish and the rest of the vegetables, garlic, pear, and ginger into the large pot or bowl.

5. Mix the sugar with a quart of the water so that it dissolves completely, and then add that to the pot with the radish and vegetables. Then add the rest of the water and stir gently. Taste, and add the salt liquid reserved from the radish according to your taste. I generally use around a cup of the salt liquid mixture back into the pot.

6. Cover the pot or bowl and leave it at room temperature for 2 days. Then, refrigerate immediately and enjoy! The dongchimi will ferment beautifully almost immediately, so it’s up to your personal preference of when to consume. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.  My dad recently told me that it’s best with a thin layer of ice at the top so for all of my fellow New Englanders who have faced this brutal winter, store your jar/pot/etc outside so it can have ice chunks in it!  When in Rome…

I hope you enjoy this!  I like my kimchi really fresh and not too-fermented, so this was perfect for me about 3-4 days after I made it.  It’s all according to taste, so try a little bit every day and see what you like the best.

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