Pickled Korean radishes are a delight! They are crisp and refreshing, a perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour and crunchy. They are often served with Korean fried chicken (hence the name Chicken Mu, or Chicken Radish), but I’ve often had them served to me as banchan (small side dish) for lots of other meals.
If you’d like to serve these up with some other Korean side dishes and/or BBQ, take a look at my ever-growing easy Korean BBQ & banchan section.
They’re really easy to make. I like to grow my own Korean radishes (I have a full video about how to do it, as well as turning it into radish kimchi, here), but if you can’t find them, daikon radish is a very close substitute and is available at most grocery stores.
Yield: 2 – 2.5 lbs. Korean radish pickles (stored in a half gallon jar)
Shelf life: 6 weeks, refrigerated (they will typically last longer, but begin to soften)
- Half gallon widemouth mason jar
- Knife & cutting board
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Suggested: canning funnel
- 2 – 2.5 lbs. Korean radish, cleaned & cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ cubes
- 2.25 cups water
- 1.75 cups rice vinegar (“unseasoned” style, i.e. no added sugar); can sub fully or partially with white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups white sugar (about 400g)
- 1 TBSP pickling salt (or 20g)
1.) Clean the radish. Peeling the whole radish is optional but at least clean it and peel any tough spots, root fibers or blemishes. Slice the radish into discs and cut the discs in a criss-cross pattern to make bite sized cubes. (Follow the same process you do for cutting kkakdugi, radish kimchi.)
2.) Mix all the brine components in the glass jar, tighten the lid, and shake vigorously until the sugar and salt are fully and visibly dissolved. (Heating the brine in a saucepan is another method, but allow the liquid to cool before pouring over the radish.)
3.) As needed, transfer the brine to a pitcher, spouted measuring cup, or a bowl. Please the cubed radish pieces in the half gallon jar using the (suggested) canning funnel. Pour the cool (or room temp) brine mixture over the radishes, until within 1/2″ to 1/4″ from the jar mouth. You might only use around 3.5 cups of brine and can discard the excess or use for other purposes. Tighten the jar lid and refrigerate.
4.) Allow about 5 days to a week for the radishes to pickle before serving. Waiting another week will yield a stronger flavor.