Cubed radish kimchi

Kkakdugi 깍두기

Kkakdugi is a type of kimchi made from diced radish. It’s a very common kind of kimchi and often used in Korean everyday meals along with baechu kimchi (napa cabbage kimchi).

I posted a video about how to make kimchi in 2007, when I had just started using YouTube. I showed how to make both baechu kimchi and kkakdugi in a single video, but I didn’t provide exact measurements as I wasn’t accustomed to measuring things out at that time. I mentioned things like “you need 2 medium sized napa cabbages…” But I soon realized that it would be diffcult for people to make their own kimchi without knowing the exact pounds, kilos, cups and spoons etc.


So last year I posted an easy kimchi recipe that calls for 10 pounds of napa cabbage, and I tried to do my best to provide accurate measurements so that my viewers and readers could make delicious kimchi.

Now I’m posting my kkakdugi recipe today. You can make delicious kkakdugi in an hour!


Korean radish (or daikon), salt, sugar, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, green onions, garlic, ginger.


  1. Peel 4 pounds of Korean radish (or daikon).
  2. Rinse in cold water and pat dry.
  3. Cut it into ¾ to 1 inch cubes. Put into a large bowl.
  4. Add 2 tbs salt, 2 tbs sugar, and mix well.
    *tip: If you like your kkakdugi sweeter, add 1 or more extra tbs of sugar.
  5. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  6. Drain the juice from the radish into a small bowl.
  7. Add 2 tbs minced garlic (about 5-6 cloves garlic), 1 ts minced ginger, 4 stalks of chopped green onions, ¼ cup fish sauce, 2/3 cup hot pepper flakes, and ⅓ cup of the juice from the radish.
    *tip: The amount of hot pepper flakes you use depends on your taste; use ¼ cup hot pepper flakes for a mild version. For a vegetarian version, replace fish sauce with soy sauce.
  8. Mix it up well until the seasonings coat the radish cubes evenly, and the radish looks juicy.
  9. Put the kkakdugi into a glass jar and press down on the top of it to remove any air from between the radish cubes.
  10. You can eat it right away, and then store it in the refrigerator. Or you can let it ferment by keeping it outside of the refrigerator for a few days. When it starts fermenting, little bubbles may appear on top of the kkakdugi and it’ll smell strong & sour. Then put it in the refrigerator.

Kkakdugi goes with kongnamulguk (soybean sprout soup) and ox bone soup.




  1. Carly_G Bologna 1 commentjoined 2/17
    Posted February 27th, 2017 at 4:48 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I made kkakdugi today, stored it two glass jars a few hours ago but… I think it came out too salty!
    what should I do?
    I also used hot pepper paste instead of hot pepper flakes, but it looked good (hope it will also taste good)

    love from Italy

    • Maangchi New York City 11,163 commentsjoined 8/08
      Posted March 1st, 2017 at 9:53 am | # |

      When it ferments, it will taste better.

  2. Yumyumdonut SAN JOSE 1 commentjoined 2/17
    Posted February 12th, 2017 at 3:16 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I think my kkakdugi is a little too salty and not spicy enough. Is there a cure for that?? Pleas help! I love this idea go to the restaurant, so I’ve attempted to make this recipe but failed. I really want it to work out this time!

  3. EvilGrin 27 commentsjoined 6/15
    Posted February 3rd, 2017 at 10:59 am | # |

    I tried adding some Korean pear puree to mine a couple days ago and it turned out extremely good. I mix radish and kohlrabi in mine with some of the kohlrabi greens too.

    DELICIOUS Kkaktugi

    See full size image

  4. Mdefields Indiana 10 commentsjoined 1/17
    Posted January 17th, 2017 at 11:25 am | # |

    Love your recipes! If I choose to ferment on counter for a couple of days, should I keep the lid off and just cover w a cloth? Thanks!!

    • Maangchi New York City 11,163 commentsjoined 8/08
      Posted January 19th, 2017 at 10:39 am | # |

      Always close the lid.

  5. AdamB usa 15 commentsjoined 12/14
    Posted January 6th, 2017 at 3:25 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi. I am making a big batch of your mak kimchi today. I am going to make two times the sauce, as I purchased several big Korean radishes to make the cubed radish kimchi as well. I send you good vibes whenever I make my kimchi – all the way to my fantastic Korean market, during the making, and every time I eat it! You are a great teacher in the kitchen. I recommend your beautiful cookbook all the time.

  6. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana 40 commentsjoined 12/16
    Posted December 23rd, 2016 at 6:12 am | # |

    This is a GREAT recipe! I’ve made it before. I decided to try something different this time, using cubed american purple top turnips. I think it’s going to be fantastic! It’s been fermenting for 2 days. Gonna let it go one more day :)

    • John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana 40 commentsjoined 12/16
      Posted January 6th, 2017 at 10:55 pm | # |

      UPDATE: The turnip kimchi turned out AWESOME!!! I let it ferment for 5 days. The house has been cooler with the cooler weather, so I think that’s why it took 5 days for it to taste like it had fermented to my liking. Then I left it in the fridge 10 days before eating it. YUM! I will be making this recipe with turnips again. Korean radish too of course… but this is a nice change… By the way, I always love the beautiful red color this recipe yields…

      • EvilGrin 27 commentsjoined 6/15
        Posted February 3rd, 2017 at 11:05 am | # |

        Try kohlrabi in the mix. Its outstanding. I cut the radish and kohlrabi differently so you can tell them apart. I used daikon last time and cut them into half moons. I cut the kohlrabi into strips.

        Its great as a side dish or added to soups.

  7. AlaskaOm Anchorage, Alaska 2 commentsjoined 11/10
    Posted June 16th, 2016 at 3:45 pm | # |

    Radish kimchi is my favorite!!! I’ve made this a couple times now. So easy with your instructions. I gave a jar as a gift to one of my Korean friends who took it home and served it with dinner. She said her mother complimented and said it tasted like “real” kimchi. LOL Best compliment.

    • Maangchi New York City 11,163 commentsjoined 8/08
      Posted June 18th, 2016 at 9:18 am | # |

      Wow this is a really good compliment, because you impressed your Korean friend with your homemade kkakdugi. : )

  8. arcionmez Seoul, Korea 1 commentjoined 5/16
    Posted May 31st, 2016 at 8:18 am | # |

    Maangchi, thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for my Korean husband, and he LOVED IT. He loved it so much that he called his mom to tell her about it. Then he invited his father and brothers over to try some. Now he wants me to make some as a gift for his parents. I also need to make more because it’s all gone! (husband ate it all) If I want to double the recipe, should I just double all of the ingredients?

    • Maangchi New York City 11,163 commentsjoined 8/08
      Posted May 31st, 2016 at 10:33 pm | # |

      You impressed many people with your homemade kkakdugi! : ) Yes, double all of the ingredients.

  9. tmik 2 commentsjoined 12/15
    Posted May 9th, 2016 at 5:24 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi!

    I made some of your amazing kkakdugi recently. I ate most of a glass mason jar full, but then left the last bit untouched in the fridge for about 10 days or so in the tightly sealed jar. When I opened it the lid blew off like a bomb! I know that there is still some fermentation going on even in the fridge, but that seems like a lot of action. And my western brain is conditioned to think that exploding jars=botulism=straight in the trash. There was plenty of liquid in the jar, but the radish floats, so I guess there was some air contact. Is this still safe to eat? Is there a risk of botulism with kimchi? Thanks!

    • sanne Munich 174 commentsjoined 8/14
      Posted May 10th, 2016 at 12:25 am | # |

      I don’t think it’s botulism, but:
      To make sure it’s safe to eat, here’s something I just learned a few weeks ago: When heated above 120 °C, even the botulinus-poison is destroyed.
      Therefore: Use it for soup in a pressure-cooker (the liquid in any case!) or slice it up thinly and fry it.

      Bye, Sanne.

      • medusagurlyeah Adelaide 25 commentsjoined 1/14
        Posted May 11th, 2016 at 12:36 am | # |

        Good tip, because I’ve used leftover kkakdugi (commercially made) and chuck steak and popped them in a pressure cooker to make korean-flavoured stew. Of course, add gochujang, gochugaru, onions, garlics, fish sauce! Yummy!

  10. medusagurlyeah Adelaide 25 commentsjoined 1/14
    Posted April 28th, 2016 at 6:21 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    Please help! My kkakdugi is fermented after 3 days but I’m finding that it isn’t salty enough. Can i add more salt or fish sauce now that it’s fermented, or is it too late?

    • Maangchi New York City 11,163 commentsjoined 8/08
      Posted April 28th, 2016 at 11:38 pm | # |

      Yes, you can add salt anytime.

      • medusagurlyeah Adelaide 25 commentsjoined 1/14
        Posted April 29th, 2016 at 5:28 am | # |

        oh thank you, I’m so relieved i don’t have to think of ways to use it up, because i really can’t eat it at the moment because it’s so bland!

  11. Charmaine Singapore 18 commentsjoined 6/11
    Posted March 9th, 2016 at 6:53 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I have finally made this after eyeing it for so long! I was afraid that I won’t like any other kimchi other than the cabbage ones, but this is delicious. It’s only the first day but I can’t resist stealing some already. Can’t wait for the fermentation to be done!

  12. hamsie37 Sydney 2 commentsjoined 2/16
    Posted February 20th, 2016 at 4:06 am | # |

    Another delicious recipe!! So quick and easy. Next time I need to try the napa cabbage kimchi recipe. Thank you!!

    See full size image

  13. haartless San Francisco, CA 1 commentjoined 1/16
    Posted January 27th, 2016 at 9:51 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi, I followed your recipe but the kkakdugi came out too salty! What should I do to fix this??

    • Cutemom Indonesia 78 commentsjoined 3/13
      Posted January 28th, 2016 at 8:55 pm | # |

      Add more radish cubes

  14. tmik 2 commentsjoined 12/15
    Posted December 30th, 2015 at 4:04 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I like my kkakdugi to be not very sweet, will this ferment properly if I use less or no sugar? Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City 11,163 commentsjoined 8/08
      Posted December 30th, 2015 at 9:31 am | # |

      Yes, of course you can make it with less sugar, or without!

    • noleda 1 commentjoined 1/16
      Posted January 5th, 2016 at 1:15 pm | # |

      Thank you Maangchi! I had kkakdugi for the first time in a korean restaurant last year and wanted to make it myself. This tastes just like what i had!

  15. jawa 1 commentjoined 12/15
    Posted December 28th, 2015 at 1:05 am | # |

    This turned out amazing for me! I did not use fish sauce, because I’m a vegetarian. And I left out the green onions, because I did not have any on hand. Used daikon, which I had been inundated with at my CSA. Fermented this for about 3 weeks. It is very strong smelling, but it tastes amazing. My husband, my neighbor and I are all addicted. Thank you for posting this!

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