Korean Radish Salad 무생채

Probably one of my favorite Korean side dishes is a sweet and sour radish salad called moosangchae. This dish has a slight bit of spice to it, but nothing that is too strong. Even those that are sensitive to heat, can eat this.

It is very simple to make and will probably become a quick family favorite. Korean radishes, also known as moo, can have that same spicy bite to it of our little salad radishes if eaten raw but tend to be milder. In the salad, that spiciness seems to disappear and becomes a very mellow vegetable with the best crunch to it. The radishes are not the little red ones we are used to or daikon (but these would probably be a close substitute) but a very large radish found in all Korean grocery stores. They usually weigh about 2 lbs and up. (that is me holding one, so you can see the size. They are huge and that is a medium sized one!)

This radish is a large staple in Korea, used in soups, kimchi, and side dishes. Probably one of my favorite Asian veggies!! Now to learn how to turn this radish into one of my favorite dishes. One other vegetable that is used in this dish for flavor and color is shisito pepper. This is an asian sweet hot pepper. This does not taste similar to our sweet peppers, but has the flavor of a hot pepper without the kick. If you cannot find these (I was glad to see our local Costco supplying them after my harvest failed!) green onion is an acceptable substitute.

Recipe time!!


Radish Salad 무생채 Moosangchae

  • 2 Lbs radish
  • 1 carrot
  • 6 shishito pepper or 1/2 bunch of green onion
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic paste
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

First wash and peel the radish. After this I like to grate it, but my husband will slice it paper thin and Juliane it. Basically you need to end up with matchsticks of radish. I use the largest holes on my mandolin to achieve the same results my husband achieves (but I save time)

Next wash, peel and julienne the carrot. The mandolin can also be used for this step, but lay the carrot down and slide it so you are getting pieces about the same length as the shredded radish. Next slice the shisito peppers into thin slices or chop us the onion. Add all the vegetable together.

Mix the final ingredients into the salad. We use our hands to mix (with gloves on of course!). Once well incorporated, it is ready to eat. This is a wonderful side dish with Bulgogi, or Sang gyup Sal (recipes coming soon!!)

Hope you enjoy it! If so leave a comment!


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Kimchi 김치

With so many Korean restaurants opening, the popularity of Kpop and Korean dramas, the majority of American’s are becoming more familiar with Korean cuisine. And there is no other food that says Korea, like Kimchi. There are many types of kimchi, from cabbage or radish, to green onion. All are amazing and full of healthy gut supporting probiotics. Kimchi is served with every meal in a Korean household and if you have not had the good fortune to try it out, you are missing out! Kimchi is a fermented spicy and tangy explosion of smell and flavor.

 

This box will only last us 3 months!!!

 

Cabbage kimchi is made with Napa cabbage. This can be found in just about any grocery store for around $1.49 per pound. When we go to our Korean grocery store (HMart in Michigan) it runs us about $.69 per pound unless we buy it by the box because 48lbs is $25. Two 1 gallon jars of kimchi cost around $24. We can make 4 gallons with the box above. The recipe I will give will be for 3 heads of napa cabbage which will make about a gallon.

There are two ingredients that are not typically in our cupboards that are vital to making kimchi. The first one is anchovy sauce or shrimp sauce which is known in Korea as “eggk-chut”. Any brand will work but be aware most brands contain MSG so read the label. The one by CJ cheiljedang, pictured below, does not.

The second item is red pepper powder or “goet-chu garu”. Make sure this is coarse powder and not fine powder, especially since they are both called powders. They are used for different purposes. Usually a picture of kimchi on the front is a safe bet. IF you are looking for some extra points with the store owner use the Korean pronunciation! Sometimes they will even reward your use of Korean words with a free package of Kimbab (Korean style sushi) if you are in a small auntie (ahjuma) store.

I’m just throwing all kinds of Korean at you!! Back to making Kimchi!

Other items you will need to have available is fresh garlic, preferably processed into a paste. (Minced works, but needs to be drained of the water), sea salt, sugar, and either green onion or onions, and fresh grated ginger. You may want some food prep gloves and glass jars. Now onto the recipe and the process!!

Kimchi

  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar
  • 6 Green onions chopped or 1 sliced onion
  • ⅔ cup Fish sauce
  • 1 cup Red pepper flakes

First remove any yellowed or bad leaves then cut up Napa cabbage.

Once cut up. it is time to wash the cabbage and salt it. Because we make such large amounts, we bleach our kitchen sink and use it as a wash tub. a colander will work just fine! When you salt it, you will use 1 Tbsp per layer. A head of cabbage will make about two layers.

At this point the cabbage sits for about 2-4 hours collecting beneficial bacteria. So sit and read a book…..or clean the house.

Have several hours passed??????? Ok then, it is now time to add all the other ingredients and mix the cabbage. As you mix you are also massaging the cabbage somewhat. You want to really incorprate the ingredients and make sure they are evenly distributed. This is best done with your hands, so plastic food prepping gloves are important, my sister-in-law just uses her hands. She is brave, as you can continue to burn sensitive mucous membranes and eyes for a while after you finish even after washing.

 

All ingredients added and now to mix!!

Once it is fully incorporated your kimchi will look like the video below.

It is now ready to be put up for storage and further fermentation!

 

If you only have an American fridge to store the kimchi you made, the kimchi will keep for about a month before it is time for different uses. It tends to sour after that time. It is still safe to eat, it just looses some of the delicious qualities. In a Korean kimchi refrigerator it can keep as long as 3-4 months. I was fortunate enough to get one used for $600 and it had only been used for a week, Score!!!! The upright variety usually sell new for $3900. If you find you are making a lot of kimchi or fermented food, watch out for one of these!!

Happy KIMCHI making!!!