Yellow pickled radish

Danmuji 단무지

Today I’m going to show you how to make your own yellow pickled radish, called danmuji in Korean. It’s a crispy, tangy, refreshing side dish and an essential ingredient in gimbap, Korean seaweed rice rolls.

I know that some of my regular readers and YouTube viewers have been waiting for this recipe for a while. Thank you for your patience! I’ve actually been working on this recipe off and on for years, and after much experimentation, I’ve come up with this delicious, accessible, foolproof version anyone can make!

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I use gardenia fruits (chija in Korean) to give these radishes a nice yellow color, naturally, and I use rice bran to give them a deep aftertaste. The resulting radish tastes good and is also really beautiful. Most important to me is that this danmuji is made with all natural ingredients. Many Koreans think chija is good for your health: good for insomnia, jaundice, and is anti-inflammatory. It sounds like a panacea! When I heard this I bought a big bag of chija and have been using it as often as I can.

I’m forever grateful to my readers for requesting this recipe, because without them, I would never have tried to make danmuji at home. It’s pretty easy for me to buy it in a Korean grocery store, but like everything else, homemade is much better, more delicious, and more satisfying. Now I make danmuji at home all the time, I just love it!

I encourage you to give it a try! Good luck with making danmuji!

Korean yellow pickled radish (danmuji: 단무지)

Ingredients (makes 4 pounds of danmuji)

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Directions

Make the pickle mixture:

  1. Crush the chija in a plastic bag. Transfer to a sauce pan. Add 1½ cup water, cover, and boil for 20 minutes over medium high heat.
    Gardenia fruits (chija:치자)Gardenia fruits (chija:치자)
  2. Remove from the heat and strain the solids over a bowl. Put them into a cheesecloth folded over a few times, with the top tied to make a pouch.
  3. Put the strained chija water (about ⅓ cup) into a measuring cup. Add enough cold water to top it up to 1 cup.
  4. Rinse out the sauce pan and put the cup of strained chija water back into it. Add the salt, sugar, vinegar, and the rice bran. Mix well and set aside.making danmuji (yellow pickled radish making)

Make danmuji:

  1. Use a peeler to remove any brown spots and roots from the daikon.
  2. Cut the tops and bottoms off the daikons so the the radishes are about 10 inches long. They should be able to fit comfortably into a gallon ziplock bag. Add the leftover tops and bottoms, too.daikon
  3. Add the pickle mixture and close the bag. Press gently and move the bag around, upside down and rightside up, so everything gets well mixed. Open the bag and add the gardenia pouch, too.Korean yellow pickled radish (danmuji: 단무지)
  4. Double bag with plastic bags. Refrigerate.

Ferment danmuji:

  1. 24 hours later, take the radishes out of the refrigerator.
  2. Press and massage the radishes through the ziplock bag to mix everything well. Turn it upside down and rightside up a few times. Squeeze the pouch, too.
  3. Ferment for 1 month, taking it out every other day and giving it a good mix.

Serve danmuji:

  1. It should be ready to eat in one month. Discard the pouch, and take out as much radish as you’ll need for a serving. Keep the rest in the bag.
  2. Wash the radish well. Slice, and eat.

Korean yellow pickled radish (danmuji: 단무지)

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49 Comments:

  1. claudiawong Australia joined 11/17
    Posted November 11th, 2017 at 8:21 am | # |

    I would like to try the radish but I can’t find rice bran. Can I use barley bran as I was told it is the one closest to rice bran? Thanks.

  2. soirse_soirse Thailand joined 10/17
    Posted October 12th, 2017 at 4:15 am | # |

    Can I use any kind of radish? Or it must be daikon radish?

  3. bunraf joined 6/15
    Posted February 5th, 2017 at 10:18 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi.. I’ve tried some of your recipes and it turned out tp be great! So I have to dry the daikon first before it ready to use, maybe I’ll let them in the open air for 3 days, is that enough?

  4. cometheartbeat london joined 1/17
    Posted January 21st, 2017 at 9:35 am | # |

    Is it a necessity to use chija and rice bran?

  5. TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16
    Posted December 7th, 2016 at 10:04 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, very good news! I managed to locate a Chinese Medicinal herbal supplier who supplies the Gardenia berries as a medicinal product for making tea, so I bough at good quantity! THEN – I also managed to get Rice Bran from another on-line company! You took such a long time to develop this recipe, and I’m sure that by following your Grandmotjher’s recipe, and trying and testing different results, you finally achieved something you felt able to share with us – you would not share something you were not sure about, so I’m sure it is perfect – and I am so happy that I will now be able to follow your recipe EXACTLY as you showed us in your video!
    I will be delighted to let you know my result!
    I already make your Kimchi – and that is absolutely superb! My friend, who lived in Korea for 3 years as an English teacher, loves it – she cried when she first tasted mine, as she said it was so real, so authentic and the best kimchi she had ever tasted outside Korea! So thanks to you, It was a great success!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 19th, 2017 at 10:39 pm | # |

      How did your danmuji turn out?

      • TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16
        Posted October 23rd, 2017 at 1:19 pm | # |

        Sadly, I’m afraid it all went off. It didn’t pickle at all, and began to rot, instead. I actually think the radishes I bought were to blame. I have no local shop or supplier so had to resort to buying the daikon on line, but it wasn’t in the best condition when it arrived.
        I will try again in the spring or summer, when I can buy better produce!

  6. Pastrygirl Vietnam joined 11/16
    Posted November 6th, 2016 at 10:59 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, thanks for an awesome recipe but can we make danmuji without rice bran???

  7. gel122190 Davao City, Philippines joined 7/16
    Posted August 23rd, 2016 at 4:20 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I am from Philippines and I don’t think we have Chija here. Is chija used just for coloring or does it also affect the taste of danmuji?

  8. rizuki.nufi INDONESIA joined 5/16
    Posted May 24th, 2016 at 4:02 pm | # |

    Hai Maangchi, thank you for this awsome recipe. i have a question, can i use turmeric for danmuji?
    because at my country hard to get chija. i must import from china :(

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 24th, 2016 at 5:57 pm | # |

      Yes, some of my readers have let me know they made danmuji with turmeric. Good luck!

  9. Psc Sydney joined 5/16
    Posted May 3rd, 2016 at 7:10 am | # |

    Can I make this without sugar?

  10. soomin joined 1/16
    Posted January 11th, 2016 at 2:13 am | # |

    Hi dear Maangchi, I have a question about this recipe, would you please help me
    I couldn’t find Gardenia, but I fine the powder of it, can I use powder of gardenia instead of the fruit? if it is OK, how much should I use it?
    thank you very much for your attention

  11. halamango joined 8/15
    Posted August 10th, 2015 at 3:37 pm | # |

    Thank you for a great recipe. Anxious to make danmuji, but have a very elementary question: do I dry the daikon for three days in the refrigerator or in open air?

  12. munchkin joined 6/15
    Posted June 30th, 2015 at 5:19 pm | # |

    Hello!
    Maangchi, do you think i could also use saffron instead of gardenias. or is the gardenia flavour essential?
    <3

  13. mousepudding joined 6/15
    Posted June 25th, 2015 at 10:24 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I am really eager to make some gimbap, and so when I was in the Korean supermarket yesterday, I happened to pick up a package of danmuji and start reading the ingredients. Big mistake! I was horrified by the crazy stuff they are putting in there: Saccharine, aspartame, MSG, sodium benzoate, and every artificial yellow dye known to man. I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase the stuff. I guess that’s one more reason to make your own at home. Not sure I can wait a whole month for the gimbap though. :-(
    Love your videos! Keep them coming!

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