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!

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)


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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  1. LiljaS Iceland joined 3/18 & has 16 comments

    Hi Maangchi. Can you store the homemade Danmuji in an Onggi, or must it be the plastic bags? I just think my Onggis are prettier ;P

  2. DTUATH New Nampshire joined 12/17 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi….luv your recipes. Always come out great. Started the pickled radish and i’m curious…been 1 week and the radish is really soft…that ok?

  3. claudiawong Australia joined 11/17 & has 1 comment

    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.

  4. soirse_soirse Thailand joined 10/17 & has 1 comment

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

  5. bunraf joined 6/15 & has 7 comments

    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?

  6. cometheartbeat london joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    Is it a necessity to use chija and rice bran?

  7. TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16 & has 26 comments

    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!

  8. Pastrygirl Vietnam joined 11/16 & has 1 comment

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

  9. gel122190 Davao City, Philippines joined 7/16 & has 3 comments

    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?

  10. rizuki.nufi INDONESIA joined 5/16 & has 1 comment

    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 :(

  11. Psc Sydney joined 5/16 & has 2 comments

    Can I make this without sugar?

  12. soomin joined 1/16 & has 1 comment

    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

  13. 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?

  14. munchkin joined 6/15 & has 1 comment

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

  15. 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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