깍두기– Kkakdugi (Kkak-du-gi/Kkaktugi) Cubed Radish Kimchi

January 2, 2012 § 5 Comments

Can you think of a better way to start off the new year than with a huge batch of delicious, spicy cubed radish kimchi (kkakdugi)?

I can’t.


Now that I have the green light to reintroduce spicy foods back into my post-cleanse diet, I am so excited to share this delicious kimchi recipe with you. For me, this is easier to make than regular kimchi, as the marinade/sauce is super-simple and the process is much less time-consuming. And did I mention that it is outrageously tasty?

Oh, and the prep-cooking-time takes only around 1 hour. (That one was for you, superspy.)


1. Please don’t be frightened to use salted shrimp, they’re really quite delicious and I call them Asian Anchovies. And, they will practically dissolve in the liquid the kkakdugi will give off during the fermentation process, so no need to fear!

2. Try to use sweet rice flour, I recommend Mochiko. Of course, I didn’t have any at home so I ground up some rinsed and dried sweet rice into a powder and it worked just fine.

3. If your spice-tolerance is not quite Cozybogie-level, feel free to use 1 cup of red chili powder.

4. This tastes especially amazing with a hearty-meaty soup, like my ox-tail gori gom-tang. 

깍두기– Kkakdugi (Kkak-du-gi/Kkaktugi) Cubed Radish Kimchi


  • 8-9 lbs Korean radish (around 3 medium-large radish)
  • 1/2 cup VERY coarse sea salt
  • 2 tbsp sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp salted shrimp
  • 1 1/4 cup Korean red chili powder (must be Korean gochukaru)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 8-9 green onion stalks, cut into 1.5 inch pieces


  1. Clean, peel and dice your radish into cubes. I like my radish cubes to be on the smaller side (around 1.5 times bigger than a game-dice) but feel free to cube them however you’d like (but I would keep them MAX 1.5 inch cubes).
  2. In a HUGE metal bowl, sprinkle 1/2 cup of the coarse sea salt and using kitchen gloves, mix well so that all of the radish are coated evenly with the salt. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. While the radish is being salted, assemble your marinade ingredients. First, mix the sweet rice flour with the water and microwave it for around one minute, and then stirring well to mix, and microwaving it for an additional 20 seconds. You should have a nice paste. Set aside and cool completely.
  4. In another bowl, assemble the rest of your marinade – garlic, ginger, fish sauce, salted shrimp, sugar, and gochukaru. Mix gently, and then when the sweet rice paste is cooled, mix all of the ingredients together until it forms a nice paste.
  5. Carefully drain the radish from the liquid it has given off, and rinse half of the radish with water and drain. Add it back to the bowl with all of the radish (there should be no liquid) and add the sauce.
  6. Using the kitchen gloves, carefully mix all of the radish so that every piece is coated generously with the sauce. Add the green onion and toss a few more times, and then transfer the mixture into air-tight containers.
  7. If you want your kkakdugi to last longer, refrigerate immediately and taste in 6-7 days, if you can’t wait to eat it, leave it out in room-temperature for 1-2 days and then refrigerate and try it 2 days after. It will take a couple weeks for the flavor to fully-develop, but if you are like me and can’t wait, waiting one week is fine for some fresher-tasting kkakdugi!
  8. Hope you enjoy!

Eun Dae Gu Jo Rim (은대구 조림 Braised Cod/Sablefish with Spicy Sauce)

March 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

My inspiration behind this dish is from the amazing experience I had this week at Danji, a new Korean restaurant (346 West 52nd, b/w 8th and 9th Ave.).

It was incredible.

With my two darling girlfriends in tow, we had a delicious meal made by the most talented, wonderful executive sous-chef there – Daniel Rutledge, who I am proud to call a friend. The ambiance is so comfortable, sexy, and chic and the food is simply irresistible.  Here is what we had, in the order of what we liked best (but it was so hard to choose, since all of them were phenomenal!).

1. Poached sablefish with spicy daikon

2. Bulgogi Beef Sliders W. Roasted Bone Marrow

3. Spicy Thai-style chicken wings

4. Kimchi fried rice chorizo ‘paella’ with farmhouse egg

5. ‘Danji’ Braised Short Ribs W. Fingerlings & Pearl Onion

6. Mocha chiffon cake

So in honor of these delectable choices, I wanted to recreate as much as I could of the buttery-smoothness of the poached sablefish, and the spot-on spicy sauce. My attempt does not hold a candle to Danji’s perfected dish, but it’s an acceptable home substitute until you can personally get over to Danji and try its inimitable masterpiece for yourself.

I also recommend their ’50’ soju blend, it was nice and clean, very easy to sip. The service was immaculate and attentive, and it’s affordable.  Please go now (while there are only a few lines and moderate wait) before it gets an amazing review in the Times and NY Mag and it will be impossible to get in! 🙂

Thanks again, Rut! I will be back very soon.

For this recipe, if you can’t find fresh cod, don’t make it.  Using a fresh fish will make or break this dish, so please grill your fishmonger and ask for the freshest cuts and pieces. 🙂

Poached Cod with Spicy Radish Recipe

2.5-3 lbs black cod/sablefish, cut into steaks or “jo-rim cut”
1 medium radish, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
3 green onions, sliced
3 green peppers, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
1 inch of ginger, sliced into 3-4 slices
2 tbsp gochujang (red pepper paste)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp red pepper powder
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup/molasses or preferably Korean “mool yut”
2 tbsp alcohol or mirin
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp garlic, minced thinly
1/2 tbsp hondashi soup base
1/2 cup of hot water
1. Lightly salt cod steaks with sea salt and set aside.
2. Assemble sauce ingredients in a bowl, mix well.  Prepare vegetables.
3. Arrange radish on the bottom of your pan with 1/3 of the sauce drizzled on top, along with a handful of the sliced green peppers and 1/2 cup water.  Boil for 10 minutes – reduce heat to medium low and cover once it starts to boil.  Keep an eye on your water level, add a few tablespoons more if necessary.
4. Place cod on top of the radish and add the rest of the peppers, green onions, and ginger, along with the remainder of the sauce. Make sure the sauce coats all your pieces of cod evenly and thoroughly. Cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, be careful not to overcook the cod.
5. Enjoy!

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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