This dongchimi (Korean radish water kimchi) tastes sweet and sour with a deep kimchi flavor when fermented. It’s wonderfully refreshing and the radish is crispy and crunchy, the apple making it naturally, mildly sweet.

This recipe has 2 uses: one is as a side dish to rice, and the other is for making cold kimchi noodle soup, my next recipe. I have a traditional dongchimi recipe on my website, but the traditional preparation makes a lot of radish and not much broth. I developed this quick-fermenting dongchimi recipe for my first cookbook, Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, with the purpose of making a lot of broth and a little radish.

In Korea dongchimi is usually made just before winter starts, when radish is in peak season and it’s firm, crispy, and sweet. But these days you can make it all year round. Keep it in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks, and when it runs out, make some more. You can make kimchi noodle soup with it or pair it with something on the dry side, like bulgogi, japchae, fish, or even just steamed sweet potatoes. With this dish they will go down easily.

Enjoy the recipe, and wait with your dongchimi for my next recipe, cold kimchi noodle soup! : )


Makes 1 gallon of radish water kimchi

radish slices

For the apple broth

  • 1 to 1½ pounds sweet apples, cored, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon flour, optional
  • 14 cups water, plus ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

For the seasoning pouch

dongchimi ingredients


  1. Combine the radish and 3 tablespoons salt in a large bowl. Mix well and add to 1 gallon glass jar or plastic container. Let it sit for at least 2 hours to salt.
  2. Bring 14 cups of water to a boil over medium high heat in a large pot.
  3. Put the apple, onion, and flour (if used) in a food processor and process to a puree. Transfer the puree to the pot of boiling water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool it down thoroughly.
  4. Line a large strainer with a cotton sheet or double-folded cheese cloth. Place the strainer over a large bowl and pour the apple mixture into the cloth-lined strainer. Bring the edges of the cloth together, and twist them to create a package with the remaining pulp and liquid. Squeeze it tightly to force out the rest of the liquid through it, as much as you can.
  5. Discard the pulp left in the cloth. Add 3 tablespoons of salt and stir with a wooden spoon
  6. Tie the green chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and hot pepper flakes in a pouch made of double folded cheesecloth (or in a broth pouch).Chopping green chili pepper
  7. Pour the broth into the jar with salted radish.
  8. Immerse the seasoning pouch into the broth and squeeze it until the broth turns orange and the garlic, ginger, green chili pepper are infused into the broth. Leave it in the jar and put the lid on.
  9. Let it sit at room temperature for 2 or 3 days until it’s fermented. The fermentation time depends on your room temperature—the warmer your kitchen, the faster it will ferment. When the kimchi is fermented, it smells and tastes sour. Refrigerate it and  serve cold.Korean radish water kimchi
  10. Serve as a side dish for rice. To serve, take out some radish disks, cut them into bite size pieces or matchsticks, and transfer to a bowl. Add some broth and serve.

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  1. Dylanjuschrr Washington, DC joined 8/21 & has 2 comments

    Just curious, how long do you leave the pouch in the jar? Is it just until it’s fermented or do you keep it in there the whole time? Excited to make this!

  2. NaddyT SINGAPORE joined 10/21 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi I made a batch of this dongchimi last year and it’s just been sitting at the back of my fridge the entire time. Just wondering if you think its still good to eat? It’s not slimy in texture, and the smell and taste seems fine. But the radish itself has turned darker and slightly greyish at the centre.

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  3. Rosemund Massachusetts joined 9/20 & has 2 comments

    Maangchi, your recipe here is brilliant!

    I made two gallons of dongchimi today. Our local orchard has a variety of apple, Red Mac, which I used to make the broth. The flesh is tinged reddish pink. It made a PINK broth!

    I was really happy that I was able to use the Korean daikon and onions that I grew in my own garden this year to make this!

    See full size image

  4. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

    I always have pure unfiltered organic apple juice on hand – would that work, too?

  5. GeneBlack Alabama joined 5/17 & has 5 comments

    Have you tried putting this in gimbap?

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