Sunday, July 1, 2007

kkakdugi - Kimchi 101

When I have Korean soup, I like to have it with Kkakdugi, crunch simple delightful white radish Kimchi.

It is the easiest of all Kimchis to make. You doesn’t need to do long curing or fine dicing as Beachu kimchi and other Kimchis requires. My mother used to make several kinds of kimchi in one day, and always the first to finish was Kkakdugi.

It goes great with any kind of soups. If you go to any Korean restaurant in Korea whose specialty is soup (Tang, usually it called) you will see this kimchi all the time. It is something very universal and ubiquitous. I like it with Kongnamool Ghuk (soybean sprout soup).

When I was young, during the children’s play, if there were odds number of children, then one left was called ‘kkakdugi’. Perhaps the name came from the nature of this kimchi; going great with everything.
Dicing is called “kkakdug Ssulghi” in Korean due to its shape. This shape gave birth to new slang; If you call an adult male as Kkakdugi, it means he is a gang member.
A children’s play and a gang member—Yes, it goes with every thing.


1 ½ pound White Asian radish, 3 table spoonful of 1:1:1 mixture of ground garlic, ground fresh ginger, and ground Korean pear, ¼ cup Kosher salt quarter cup (for curing)+ 1 tablespoon for seasoning, 3 tablespoon ground Korean red chillie powder, 2 tablespoon of sweet rice porridge (Look Beacho Kimchi)

1. Wipe radish well and cube it in 1 inch length. Transfer it into big stainless bowl and sprinkle ¼ cup of salt. Mix well and let it sit for 30 minutes.

2. Cut green onions at 1.5 inch length both white and green part.

3. Wash the radish with clean cold water and drain. Put it into the bowl, sprinkle chillie powder, and mix well.

4. Add the green onion, the garlic, ginger and pear mixture, sweet rice porridge, and salt, mix very well.

5. Put in tight-sealed container and let it sit for a day in room temperature. Keep it in the refrigerator.

** When you buy white radish, select one with very smooth surface that doesn’t have scars and very firm to touch.

** If you cannot find Korean pear, you can use very small amount of sugar. Use about 1 teaspoon.

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