· 3 medium to large Korean radishes (about 6.5 pounds - see note 1)· 1/3 cup coarse sea salt (less if using finer salt)· 3 - 4 scallions (cut into about 1-inch lengths)· 2/3 cup gochugaru (고추가루, Korean red chili pepper flakes)· 1/4 cup saeujeot (새우젓, salted shrimp, finely minced - see note 2)· 2 tablespoons myulchiaekjeot (멸치액젓, fish sauce)· 3 tablespoons minced garlic· 1 teaspoon grated ginger· 2 tablespoons sugar (use more to taste or for summer radish)· a large bowl (7 – 8 qt)· a large colander· kitchen gloves· 1 gallon or 2 half-gallon airtight container or jar
Step 1Clean the radishes by scrubbing with a brush and/or scratching off the stubborn impurities with a small knife. Peel the skin only if necessary. You don’t need to peel if the skin is smooth and clean. Cut into 1-inch thick discs, and then cut each disc into 1-inch cubes, placing in a large bowl. (The cubes will look big but will shrink during the salting and fermentation processes.)Step 2Sprinkle the salt over the radishes and toss well to coat evenly. Let sit for about 30 – 40 minutes until the radish cubes have softened and released some liquid.Step 3Meanwhile, prepare the seasoning ingredients. Mix everything well. Set it aside for a while for the red pepper flakes to dissolve a little and become pasty.Step 4Drain the radishes in a colander and discard the liquid. Do NOT rinse. Rinsing will wash the flavor away. (The radishes still contain sufficient water content that will be released during the fermentation process. With this method, the resulting kkakdugi will have a nice thick juice.)Step 5Place the radishes back in the bowl. Add the seasoning mix and scallions.Step 6Mix everything well, preferably by hand, until the radish cubes are evenly coated with the seasonings. (Make sure to wear kitchen gloves.) Taste a little bit of the seasoning off of a radish cube. It should be a little too salty to eat as is. Add more salted shrimp or fish sauce if necessary. (The radishes will be a little dry at this point, but they will release water during the fermentation process.)Step 7Store in an airtight container or jar. Before closing the lid, press the kkakdugi down hard with your hand to remove air pockets between the radish cubes. Leave it out at room temperature for a full day or two, depending on the room temperature and how fast you want your kimchi to ripe. Then, store in the fridge. Kkakdugi tastes best after a week or two in the fridge to fully develop the flavors. It maintains great flavor and texture for several weeks.