Dongchimi | 동치미

Radish Water Kimchi

It is a type of watery kimchi made by salting radish and then adding fermented chili pepper and chives, and soaking in salted water. It has a characteristically refreshing taste, and the well fermented liquid portion of the dongchimi is used as a soup broth for mulnaengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodle soup) by mixing it with a meat broth.

  • ½ white radish (2 lb, 1kg)
  • 2 oz (60g) natural sea salt

Side ingredients 

  • ½ Korean pear (10 oz, 300g)
  • 5 green onion (1⅔ oz, 50g)
  • 2 green chili peppers (1 oz, 30g)
    (fermented with salt, optional)
  • 2 red chili peppers (1 oz, 30g)
  • 3 cloves garlic (½ oz, 15g)
  • ½ oz (15g) fresh ginger

Glutinous paste 

  • ½ tablespoon dried glutinous rice flour
  • ⅓ cup water

Kimchi liquid

  • 8 cups water (2L)
  • 3½ oz (100g) natural sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons glutinous paste
  1. Pick the small and hard white radishes. Remove the fine roots and wash the radish with a brush to remove any dirt. Cut the radish into 8 big pieces and coat with 2 oz salt and let them sit overnight.
  2. Wash the Korean pear and cut in half.
  3. Wash the green onions. Tie them into 2~3 bundles.
  4. Wash the green chili peppers and red chili peppers, and then drain.
  5. Wash the garlic and ginger and slice thinly.
  6. In a small saucepan, stir the sweet rice flour in water. Bring to a boil and gently cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, until it becomes a paste without lumps. Let it cool.
  7. To make the kimchi liquid, combine the 2 liters of water, 3½ oz natural sea salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons of glutinous paste, and then mix well.
  1. Place a layer of salted radishes in a jar, and add the prepared green onions, Korean pear, green chili peppers, red chili peppers, garlic and ginger. Put the remaining radishes on top. Weigh them down with a heavy plate to prevent radishes from floating.
  2. Pour the kimchi liquid over them and close the lid. Let it sit at room temperature (about 70℉ (20℃)) for 2 days until it ferments, and then store in a refrigerator before serving.
  3. For serving, take out the radishes and cut into half-moon shape, or slice into ½×½×1½-inch (1×1×4-cm) thick pieces. Cut the green onions, pear and chili peppers into small pieces. Adjust the taste of the fermented brine with water or sugar, if necessary.

Although dongchimi takes a considerable amount of time to ferment if it is made using whole winter radishes, it can be stored for a long time. To ferment quicker, make dongchimi with radish pieces.

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