Welcome to yet another Korean side dish (banchan). There is seemingly an endless variety, and although there’s many similarities between many side pickles and salads, each one is also unique and deeply flavorful in its own way. A great case in point is this seasoned dried radish. This is the first and only dried vegetable side pickle/salad that I’ve posted. (However, I’ve posted lots of other Korean side dishes which you can find here.)
Drying root vegetables is often a great way to preserve them or to repurpose them. For example, I love dehydrating sweet potato strips to make into healthy treats my dog loves. I’ve used this dehydrator for years with great results on everything, from jerky to sauerkraut powder, and it could be used to make the radish strips (they should be dried until tough to chew but still somewhat flexible) .
On the other hand, you might not wish to cut up a whole daikon or Korean radish and spend all that time to dehydrate the strips (just to rehydrate them!), so alternatively you can buy a bag at most Asian or international grocery stores, or here on Amazon.
As I joked above, yes, you do in fact rehydrate the dried radish. This process intensifies their flavor but allows them to maintain a crunch while still being tender. It’s hard to explain the texture exactly but one friend says it reminds him of jerky; it definitely has a satisfying chewiness.
It’s also nice and spicy but by that I just mean it has a little kick, nothing face melting. Still, less gochugaru is okay if necessary.
So with no further ado, let’s do this!
Serves 6-8 as a side
Shelf life: Stays good for at least a month (sealed, refrigerated)
You will need:
- Large mixing bowl
- Deep frying pan or wok, & turner
- Knife & cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Suggested: garlic press
- Storage container or half gallon mason jar
- 200g dried radish strips
- 2 tsp sunflower oil (or other neutral cooking oil)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 green onions, well chopped
- 2 TBSP fish sauce (or Korean soy sauce or 1 TBSP of each)
- 3 TBSP gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), 18g
- 1/4 cup Korean rice syrup
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp rice vinegar vinegar (or white vinegar)
- Salt to taste (~1/4 – 1/2 tsp)
- Garnish with 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1.) Place the dried radish strips in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly rinse under cold water. Drain radishes in colander and return to bowl. Fill with water until radishes are submerged and soak for 10-15 minutes. Then drain again and dry the radish by hand by squeezing handfuls vigorously.
2.) Heat the vegetable oil over high heat in frying pan. The pan should be hot enough to sizzle when the radishes are poured in. Cook for two minutes, stirring periodically. Remove from heat and transfer back to mixing bowl.
3.) As the radish cools, prepare and measure the other ingredients. When ready, place all the other ingredients (except the sesame seeds) in the mixing bowl and combine evenly with the radish. When thoroughly mixed, transfer to storage container. Allow the flavors to meld at least overnight.
Garnish bowl or individual servings with the sesame seeds when served. Enjoy!