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Dongchimi (Korean Radish Water Kimchi) Recipe

March 12, 2012


I cannot say enough about how much I absolutely love… Dongchimi. The refreshing broth and the crunchy radish moo… Yum!

Bill will do a post on it soon, but we’re currently watching the drama Kimchi Family or Fermentation Family (available on DramaFever – Kimchi Family). This drama is probably one of my very favorite dramas in the recent years. We’ve watched half of the episodes so far, and each episode shows such beautiful and delicious looking kimchi and food that we get really hungry. And I just get this passionate desire to go and make kimchi. After watching an episode a couple of weeks ago, I ran out to make Dongchimi, so I hope you enjoy the recipe!


Dongchimi has always been my favorite kimchi. Dongchimi literally means kimchi for the winter, and Koreans love eating Dongchimi with steamy, hot dishes during the winter. But Dongchimi is eaten all around the year, including summer, when Koreans like to make noodles with the Dongchimi broth – which we call Neungmyun (cold noodles).

Unlike the red, spicy kimchis that you often see in Korean meals, Dongchimi is a water-based, non-spicy kimchi that has an amazing, refreshing broth. Like any other kimchi, Dongchimi is also a very healthy food – I don’t need to go into how probiotic food is so amazingly good for you!

Dongchimi is much easier to make than regular kimchi. It’s an easy recipe that gives great results for newbies, and it is a very satisfying side dish for any steamy and hot or hearty Korean meal. Again, it’s great as Neungmyun (cold noodles) broth as well. 🙂

Dongchimi (Korean Radish Water Kimchi) Recipe

5 medium Korean moo/radish/daikon (make sure it’s the Korean radish, the other kinds will taste totally different!)
3/4-1 cup coarse sea salt to cover the moo/radish overnight
1 big Korean pear, cubed (make sure it’s Korean pear for this recipe!)
1 big or 2 small red apples, cubed
1 cup whole garlic cloves
20 whole green onions salted and tied into knots
5-7 ginger pieces, cubed (garlic clove size)
8-10 mix of red & green hot peppers (accordingly to your liking)
1/16 cup pepper seeds wrapped and tied in cheese cloth (optional, only if you want to have some more heat in the kimchi)
sea salted water (18 cups of water with 2/3 cup sea salt)

1. Clean and peel the bad/ugly areas of the moo/radish peel. Don’t peel everything out, as the peel of the moo will make the broth yummier!
2. Slice the moo into quarters, rub with salt and let it sit overnight.
3. In the morning, wash the moo and salt the green onions for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the apple, pear, garlic cloves, ginger chops, whole peppers, and pepper seeds (if you are using them). Put them all in a glass jar.
5. Check if the green onions have wilted. If they have, wrap them into knots (they don’t have to be too pretty), and put them in the glass jar.
6. Put in the salted moo/radish. You should have all the ingredients in the jar now.
7. Make your sea salt water and add it into the jar. Cover up the ingredients completely. You are done!!!!
8. Put it in your fridge to ferment for at least a week or so. You can start eating as soon as you make it but really it won’t be as yummy before it has time to ferment.
9. If you let it sit for around 2 weeks or so, the Dongchimi will have a much stronger, refreshing kimchi broth taste – in a really awesome probiotics kind of way! 🙂


Salt the radish moo really well. Be sure to sprinkle generous amounts of salt!


Salted radish moo is ready for you in the morning. Wash them!


Cut the apples and Korean pears into cubes like this. Cut the ginger into garlic size cubes as well!


Salt the green onions so they are wilted enough to make knots!


Wrap them into large knots!


If all the ingredients are ready, put them all into the jar. The peppers just need to washed and put in whole.


Put the moo radish in as well and add the sea salted water to cover up all the ingredients.


All ready to be fermented now! Keep it out for a day (you want to have it the jar lid slightly open to let air in for fermentation). Then place in your fridge to ferment for at least a week or more. If you can let it ferment longer, the better.

You can really start eating as soon as you make it but waiting until it ferments really pays of.  The waiting is very difficult for me. I can’t wait to eat Dongchimi, so I always end up eating some pretty early. But you can clearly taste how different the broth and radish moo taste after letting it ferment for a couple of weeks. So please be patient! 😉


Yumm… the refreshing broth and the crunchy radish moo. Enjoy!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. ragytag permalink
    March 21, 2012 9:08 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I didn’t know it was the easier of all the kimchis to make. Will try it out. I’m not yet brave enough to try napa cabbage kimchi yet.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      March 22, 2012 9:28 am

      It will turn out just fine if you give it a try, just make a small batch! 😉 I really love dongchimi, although Bill still likes napa cabbage kimchi best. Hope you try both recipes, let us know how it turns out!!

  2. Viv permalink
    August 18, 2012 3:15 am

    Thanks for the recipe, I have made this and left it for about 3 weeks, I was so excited as it is my first batch. When I took it out, i found that the water is very thick and gooey, not just the top layer but all of it. It doesn’t taste like it has gone bad or has any discolouration. Is this how the texture of the water should be?

    • Sunnie permalink*
      August 18, 2012 6:05 am

      Hi Viv! No the water texture should not be thick or gooey. I wonder what happened. Hmm… How long did you have it outside the fridge?

      • Viv permalink
        August 28, 2012 2:25 am

        Thanks for replying Sunnie. I only left it for one day, the rest of time it was in the fridge. Can I just eat the radishes (it just tastes salty) and discard the water or not recommended to? So disappointed about the results of it now 😦


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