• Korean radish kimchi (Food Safari Earth)Source: Food Safari Earth

This recipe takes 2 to 3 days to ferment but the first clean sharp crunch of this kimchi will convince you that your hard work is worthwhile.






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (31 votes)

"Making your own kimchi is hugely satisfying and tasting this fresh radish kimchi is like ‘chilli lemonade’ according to Korean culinary ambassador Heather Jeong who makes so many different types of kimchi for her family of 5 that she has a special kimchi fridge to keep it all at an optimal temperature. They enjoy at least one or two varieties with each meal." Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth


  • 10 cm piece dashima (kombu)
  • 2 small dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp Korean glutinous rice powder (chapssal garu)
  • ¼-⅓ cup kochugaru (Korean chilli powder), coarse ground
  • 1 kg Korean radish (moo), peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes (see notes)
  • ¼ cup sea salt or pickling salt, plus 2 tsp extra (see notes)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1.5 cm piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Korean pear or nashi pear, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 large mild red chillies, seeded and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 5 stalks minari (water dropwart) or morning glory, leaves discarded, cut into 2cm, optional
  • 2-3 tbsp raw sugar 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 30 minutes
Standing time: 1-2 days

Place the dashima (kombu) and shiitake mushrooms in a saucepan and add 250 ml (1 cup) water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and discard the dashima (kombu). Leave to cool to room temperature, then remove and discard the shiitake mushroom and set the liquid aside to cool. 

Place the cooled kombu stock in a saucepan and whisk in the rice powder. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring continuously. Cook for another 2 minutes or until a paste forms. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, stir in the chilli powder until well combined. 

Meanwhile, combine the radish and salt into radish in a large bowl and stand for 15 minutes.

In a food processor, blend the garlic, ginger, pear, onion and chillies into a paste.

Drain the radish well in a colander, then place in a large bowl. Add the chilli powder mixture and using gloved hands, mix to coat well. Stand for 5 minutes, then add the garlic mixture sugar, green onions, minari, sugar and 2 tsp extra salt and combine well.

Pour the kimchee into a clean, good quality Tupperware container or a glass jar and leave to ferment at room temperature for at least 1- 2 days. Store in the refrigerator after this time for up to 2-3 months. 



• If the greens that are attached to the radish are very fresh, cut them into 2-cm pieces (about 1 cup), salt them with 1 tbsp salt for about 30 minutes, drain and add to radish with all the other ingredients.

• Heather recommends using chun il yeum (Korean natural sea salt) which readily available from Korean supermarkets or coarse Australian sea salt.


Brand-new series Food Safari Earth airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS then on SBS On Demand. For recipes and more visit the program site right here.