Dongchimi literally means “winter kimchi” because it’s traditionally made right before the cold winter starts in Korea. In late fall, we can find small, palm-sized radishes in the market, and we start thinking “Oh, it’s time to make dongchimi already!” The radishes harvested around that time of year are firm, crispy, and sweet.

But these days the small radishes are seen year ’round in Korean grocery stores here in North America. You can make dongchimi anytime, whenever you find good quality radishes.

Actually, you don’t have to stick to small radishes. I have to tell you about my grandmother’s dongchimi:

When I was high school in Seoul, I lived with my grandparents. My grandmother made her dongchimi in a huge earthenware pot. She used regular-sized radish which is very large, heavy, crispy, juicy, and sweet.

Some leftover radishes were wrapped in newspaper in a plastic bag. She peeled and cut them into sticks. That’s our snack! Crispy and sweet! But you can’t compare the sweetness with cupcakes or chocolate. It was sweet enough for us though. All of my siblings were eating radish sticks just like rabbits quietly, “sheguruk shegruk…” into the long winter night : ) When you find radishes where the green part is larger than the white part, they are usually sweeter.

When I was in my high school, I had 3 best friends. We sometimes cooked together, so every time we got together, we needed to decide what to cook. It was usually just a simple dessert such as fried apple fruit balls, kimchi jjigae, or Korean style curry rice.

My friends met in my house one day. They tasted my grandmother’s dongchimi when we had lunch together. All of them kept saying: “Wow, delicious, cool, ahh.. this is like pop soda!”

Yes, I usually drank the broth straight out of the bowl instead of using a spoon. Spooning was too slow to satisfy my thirst for the delicious broth.

Because my grandmother made a huge amount dongchimi, we could enjoy it for a long time. Her earthenware pots, filled with dongchimi, were in the corner of our garden and there was a layer of ice frozen on the top.

One day my friends and I were planning to get together in another friends’ house. Everybody asked each other what they would bring. My 3 friends said to me at the same time: “Dongchimi! Bring it in a big bucket!” : )

I didn’t learn this recipe from my grandmother. This recipe is my own mother’s recipe. When I visited her in LA, she let me taste her dongchimi. It was so tasty. My mother actually places the salted radish in a jar in a cool place at home for a couple of days instead of putting it in the fridge, as I do in the recipe. I modified her recipe a little by placing the jar in the fridge because lots of my readers are living in warm countries. What if their dongchimi goes bad during the salting process? Best to keep it in the fridge.

I will post my dongchimi guksu recipe soon. If you make dongchimi, it will be perfect timing to make guksu when my next video is released.

Enjoy this recipe! Salute! : )


  • 7-8 small palm-sized Korean radishes, about 5 pounds’ worth (2½ kg)
  • ⅓ cup kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ts worth of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chili peppers, stemmed
  • 2-3 red chili peppers, washed and stemmed
  • 1 cup worth of Korean pear, cut into chunks (can be replaced with 2 sweet bosc pears)
  • 3 green onions (including the roots), washed and drained
  • ½ cup worth onion, sliced into pieces ¼ inch thick
  • 2 liters (9 cups) of water

You’ll also need a large glass jar that can hold 6 quarts (6 liters), or 24 cups.

dongchimi radish



  1. Wash the radishes in cold water with a sponge to remove any dirt.
  2. Put ⅓ cup sea salt or kosher salt in a large and shallow bowl. Roll each radish in salt with your hands to coat evenly.
  3. Put the salted radish into the glass jar.
  4. Put some green radish leaves on top and add the leftover salt.
  5. Close the lid and keep it in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Adding water and spices

  1. Wrap ginger and garlic in cheese cloth and tie the ends. Place it inside the jar.
  2. Make a few tiny holes in red and green chili peppers with a fork, and add them to the jar.
  3. Add the onion, green onions, and pear.
  4. Pour in about 2 liters of water (9 cups) and stir the brine mixture with a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the salt.
  5. Close the lid and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 days until it ferments. When it ferments, the brine will get a little milky and it will taste a little sour. It will also smell sour and some bubbles will float to the surface. At that point, always store it in the refrigerator and take some out whenever you serve it.


  1. Serve with rice, noodles, steamed sweet potato, steamed potato, or rice cake.
  2. Cut one radish into half lengthwise. Slice one of the halves into ⅛ inch thick half-moon shape pieces, or slice it into 1½ inch x ½ inch and ½ inch thick strips.
  3. Place it in a serving bowl and add the fermented brine
  4. Garnish with chopped green leaves, red and green chili pepper.
  5. Serve cold, with some ice cubes if you like.

Leave your rating:

So far this is rated 5/5 from 311 votes

Be the first to rate this.


  1. Jang-geum Charlotte, NC joined 9/20 & has 26 comments

    Home-made Dongchimi..yummy! For an enhanced flavor, added some dried-kelp and jujubes in the dongchimi

    See full size image

  2. tliang Toronto joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I dont think I have covered the radish with enough water. One side is mushy/soggy.

    Is my dongchimi still ok?

  3. aangela new york joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

    can I cut the radish into cubes? My jar is not big enough for the 8 whole pieces. Thanks!

  4. cottony paradise joined 5/17 & has 7 comments

    will cut cubed exposed radish work?

  5. ADI13 Rochester, NY joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Where did you get your jar? That is a great, I love it!

  6. Mich0223 Singapore joined 11/18 & has 1 comment

    hi Maangchi,

    i do not have a glass jar, is it ok to you the lock and lock kimchi container instead?

    See full size image

  7. ninacalorina brazil joined 4/18 & has 1 comment

    hi maangchi!
    it’s my second time making your dongchimi recipe. it was absolutely delicious the first time!
    the problem is i forgot how long i let it undisturbed before eating it. all i remember is it getting better and better over time – though the texture of the radishes was not as good (they were devoured anyway), the brine and leaves were to die for.
    for how long am i supposed to resist before opening the jar?
    love your blog =)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 days until it ferments. After that keep it in the fridge. This kind of kimchi with a lot of water has to be eaten in 2 weeks otherwise the radish will go soggy.

  8. jsp73 joined 3/15 & has 32 comments

    Thank you for this! When I lived in SK, there were several restaurants I ate at that served very sweet dongchimi. Too many recipes call for lemon-lime soda (… Chilsung Cider) or sugar. Your recipe suits my tastes perfectly (my Korean wife’s tastes, as well). I can’t wait to try it. I’m growing a bunch of chonggak in my garden right not, but not all are forming bulbs. Their greens are going into your donchimi recipe!

  9. Kim Tan Norway joined 10/16 & has 2 comments

    Hi, Can I make this with dikon?

  10. seungaseunga Connecticut joined 2/17 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I forgot to put the radishes in the fridge after salting them and now old is growing on them. Do I have to toss them now? Thanks.


  11. Hangooksaram Fort Lee, NJ joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    안녕하세요 망치님, all your delicious and easy kimchi videos finally made me want to make one so I settled on the dong kimchi. My Hmart sold the dong kimchi radish with the tops on and after cleaning it, I’m left with tons of radish tops! I know my mom would never throw this away! Lol. But in your video, you only used the small radish tops in the dong kimchi recipe and I heard most people omit these and opt for smaller radish tops or 갓…?? Any suggestions as to what I should do with my radish tops? Thank you!

    See full size image

  12. ahw Los Angeles joined 10/16 & has 11 comments

    I’m making dongchimi for the second time now. I can’t wait for it to be ready!

    See full size image

  13. xwerox kalbar,indonesia joined 9/16 & has 3 comments

    can i use ponytail radish instead of korean radish?im sure there is no korean radish and daikon in small city.

  14. lhelinski Washington, DC joined 8/16 & has 2 comments

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it at least 4 times now, whenever I find good sized radishes at the Korean market or at the farmer’s market. The first few times, I did not have cheese cloth, so I used the fine mesh netting bag that lemons come in. I just knotted it at both ends! The other times, I used a cloth drawstring bags made for aromatics. I think that netting or cheesecloth are better, because they let the water move through better. After lots of searching for a big jar, I settled on a large glass Fido jar. Although the mouth is a little small, it works just fine! When I keep kimchi in plastic, I find that the smell does not come out if you want to use it for other things later (I don’t have a dishwasher!).

    See full size image

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2

Leave a Reply

You must create a profile and be logged in to post a comment.