Daikon radish is the base for the easiest of all the Kimchi we made. The daikon is cut into cubes, mixed with the slightly bitter green leaves that top the vegetable, and sprinkled with salt and sugar. In just 2 hours they are all set for the Kimchi Paste. Grated apple sweetens the spicy mixture and in 1 day the crunchy pickles are ready to eat. If you can’t find daikon with the greens attached, the kimchi is equally delicous without it.
Daikon Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)
By Taekyung Chung & Debra Samuels, Co-Authors, The Korean Table
Makes approximately 4 cups (1.25 kg)
2 large daikon radishes with leaves (about 2 lbs/1.5 kg total)
2 tablespoons coarse salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) Kimchi Paste
4 green onions (scallions), cut into 1-in (2.5-cm) lengths
Two 1-gallon (3.75-liter) plastic zippered bags
Remove the leaves from the daikon, rinse them and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Cut the daikon into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes.
Place the daikon and leaves in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt and sugar. Set aside, at room temperature, for 2 hours.
Drain the excess liquid from the daikon radish and leaves. Discard the liquid and thoroughly dry the bowl.
Return the daikon cubes and leaves to the bowl and add the Kimchi Paste. Put on a pair of rubber or disposable plastic gloves (to protect from skin irritation) on your hands and rub the Kimchi Paste into the cubes and leaves until thoroughly coated.
Add the green onion. Grate the apple directly into the bowl and mix well.
Divide the mixture into the 2 plastic bags, leaving the tops open. Carefully roll the vegetables forward pressing the air out of the bag, as you go. When you get to the top and the air has been released, zip the bag closed. Leave the bags at room temperature overnight.
On the next day transfer the daikon kimchi to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. It will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.