Ggakdugi Kimchee (Korean Pickled Radish/Daikon)
For two 24-oz jars, you'll need:
1 large daikon, about 3 cups worth, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tblsp salt
For spicy seasoning:
1 2-inch knob of ginger, grated or minced finely
4 or more cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp Mam Ruoc (Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Paste) or Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1 tblsp or more of gochujang (Korean chili paste)
2 tsp sugar
Optional: Scallions, or chives or whatever alliums you wish
For non-spicy seasoning:
2 tblsp sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
Peel and cut your daikon into 1-inch chunks. Wash thoroughly. In a big bowl, evenly mix 2 tblsp of salt all over the daikon. Then fill up the bowl with water until the daikon is covered. Put a plate over the daikon and something heavy to weigh it down. I use my mortar. Leave overnight at room temperature.
The next day, drain the brined daikon into a colander and rinse. With your hands, squeeze out excess moisture.
Now, it's time to make your seasoning mixture for the spicy version. Take a knob of ginger and a few garlic cloves and mince it in the food processor. Dump it into a big bowl and add a few tsps or so of shrimp paste, a tblsp or more of Korean chili paste (Actually, I use a whole lot more, but my spicy level is pretty high.), and 2 tsp sugar. It must be the bright red Korean chili flakes and/or paste. Other chilies won't taste the same. To me, Korean gochujang has a slight sweetness and isn't as spicy. Mix thoroughly and taste. Make adjustments if necessary.
Add any scallions or greens, then the drained daikon. Use gloves if you don't want your hands to get smelly. Mix thoroughly. Then pack the kimchee into jars about 75% full. You don't want to fill it to the brim as the kimchee will actually bubble as it ferments and may pop the top if it's too full. But do pack the kimchee into the jar tightly so that it can ferment better.
For the non-spicy version, add the brined and drained daikon into a jar. In a small pan, boil about 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1 or 2 tblsp of sugar, depending on how sweet you want the pickles to be. When the mixture boils, pour into the jar and screw the lid on tightly and in about a week, it'll turn to pickles.
Try eating some fresh if you like, or set the jars at room temperature for a few days to ferment, then refrigerate.
Other pickle recipes you might like:
Baechu Kimchee (Korean Pickled Napa Cabbage)
Bok Choy Kimchee (Korean Pickled Bok Choy)
Do Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Stuff ie. Carrots and Daikon)
Gaennip/Kaennip Kimchee (Korean Pickled Sesame/Shiso/Perilla Leaves)
Rau Muong Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Water Spinach)
1 year ago today, a virtual tour of the floating market, stilt houses, and fruit trees in the Mekong Delta - Vietnam.