Radish Kimchi

총각김치 Chongak Kimchi – Why “Bachelor Kimchi”…

In the olden days, young men before marriage wore their hair in a long braid.

Once they got married, they no longer wore their hair in braids, a ritual to signify becoming a man.

One could easily make the distinction between a “bachelor” and “a married man” by simply looking at the hairstyles. The white bulb is the head and the green leafy portion, the long braided tail.

Thus the name, “Bachelor Kimchi”. What do you think? You be the judge.


4 pounds Korean radishes for chongak kimchi*
2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 cup The Basic Kimchi Sauce
1 cup Sweet Rice Flour Base
3 tablespoons saewojut – salted baby shrimp*, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup green onions, chopped

*available in Korean Markets.

Step 1 – Wash and Cut

Using a paring knife, trim the bottom of the bulb and peel the area right above the joint between the bulb and the leaves, being careful to keep the leaves on the bulb. Also remove and discard any damaged leaves.

Holding a knife securely, scrape the outer skin of the radish bulbs.

Fill a sink with water and soak the radishes for about 5 minutes so that the dirt and sand will settle to the bottom. Rinse and drain in a colander.

Cut in half the smaller radishes and quarter the larger ones. You can also leave the radishes whole but make sure to remove all the dirt especially at the joint between the bulb and the leaves.

Return the radishes to a sink and rinse them in water 2 to 3 times until clean. Drain in a colander.

Step 2 – Salt and Brine

Transfer the radishes to a large bin and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Toss gently to coat the salt evenly. Put a weight on top. Let it stand at room temperature for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the liquid has been drained and salted, the radishes should be limp and pliable. Drain in a colander

Step 3 – Flavor with The Basic Sauce

While the radishes are being salted, combine The Basic Sauce, the Sweet Rice Flour Base, sugar, chopped green onions, and salted baby anchovies.

Transfer the salted radishes to a large bin. Add the sauce. Gently toss to combine together. Put them tightly in a jar. Let it stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or until fermented. Radish kimchi tastes best fully fermented.


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