Spring Radish Kimchi

One of my favorite things about spring is the abundance of radishes. Raw radishes can be hard to love, but I make radish kimchi and krauts that pack a ton of flavor for ramen noodle bowls, omelets, and sandwiches.

This kimchi was my first preparation for our wedding reception! Jake and I are making the meal for our wedding party, and I’m very excited to put together a seasonal, homemade dinner for all of our loved ones. Our friends Darlin’ Corey Farm are generously growing beautiful veggies for us, including scarlet globe radishes and Savoy greens that I put into this ferment. I also included daikon and French breakfast radishes from our little garden, and in this kimchi really any variety of radishes will do!

This is a large recipe, and will make almost a gallon of kimchi. We’re planning to use this as a condiment for our large barbecue party, so the volume makes sense for us. This is also a great recipe to use a garden bumper crop of spring veg, and as the kimchi is live culture, it can keep, even unrefrigerated, for six months or longer.

Gather

  • 4 bunches radishes with greens
  • 2 heads Pak Choy or Savoy cabbage
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 3-inch knob of ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 small apple
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 1/4 cup Korean chile flakes
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour or cooked rice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • unrefined sea salt

Make

  • Separate and wash the radish greens and radishes. Trim the tops and spindly roots from radishes.
  • Chop the radish greens into roughly 2-inch square pieces. Slice radishes into rounds (I use a mandolin while wearing a kevlar glove). Trim the green onion roots and slice the green onions. Move these vegetables to a large bowl.
  • Peel and roughly chop ginger and garlic. Core and chop the apple. Combine the ginger, garlic, apple, miso, chile flakes, brown rice flour, cider vinegar, and 1 tsp salt in a food processor and blend into a smooth paste.
  • Turn the paste out onto the bowl of vegetables and work it into the greens and radishes.
  • Massage the veggies, grabbing handfuls and pressing out liquid until limp. This may take a few minutes. Taste for salt – the ferment should taste just saltier that you’d normally like to season it to eat. If it’s not that salty or you’re having trouble getting the veg to release moisture, add a little more salt.
  • Pack into jar, pushing vegetables down to release air bubbles. The liquid brine should rise above the veg as you press. Weight with a ferment weight or plastic sandwich bag with a little water. Leave to ferment 3 weeks+ at room temperature. Move to the refrigerator when the kimchi is pleasantly sour, tangy, and spicy!
  • Serve with noodles, rice bowls, and scrambled eggs.

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