Young summer radish water kimchi

Yeolmu mulkimchi 열무 물김치

Yeolmu mul kimchi is usually eaten in summer in Korea. Making bibimbap with barley rice, doenjang jjigae, yeolmu kimchi, hot pepper paste and sesame oil is one of the most popular and delicious dinners for hot summer. My mouth is watering while writing this explanation!


4 pounds of yeolmu (young summer radish), salt, flour, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, onion, green chili pepper, red chili pepper, and water.


Prepare the young summer radish (yeolmu):

  1. Peel the radishes and remove any dead leaves.
  2. Cut into pieces about 5 cm long and put them into a big bowl. Soak in cold water and drain.
  3. Add ½ cup of salt and mix with your hands. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  4. 30 minutes later, turn it over to salt evenly and let it sit another 30 minutes (total salting takes 1 hour).
  5. Rinse and drain the salted yeolmu thoroughly until all the grit and dirt are removed.  Drain in a colander and set aside.

Make porridge:

  1. In a small pot, mix 1 tbs flour and 1 cup of water and heat it over medium heat until cooked.
  2. Occasionally stir the mixture until the liquid thickens.
  3. Add 1 tbs sugar.
  4. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.

Make yeolmu kimchi:

  1. Slice 1 cup’s worth onion thinly, mince ½ tbs of ginger, chop 2-3 red chili peppers, 2-3 green chili peppers, mince 4 cloves of garlic, and put them into a large bowl.
  2. Add 2 tbs of hot pepper flakes, the porridge, and ¼ cup of fish sauce. Mix well.
    *tip: You can replace fish sauce with 2-3 tbs of salt
  3. Add the yeolmu and mix by hand.
  4. Transfer to a container or glass jar.


Add water (mul) to make yeolmu mulkimchi:

  1. Mix 8 cups of purified water and 2-3 tbs salt in a bowl. Pour into the jar of yelomu kimchi and mix well.
    *tip: You can use boiled but cooled down water

You can eat it right away, but if you prefer it fermented keep the jar at room temperature for a couple of days. Normally, it should be stored in the refrigerator.


* Serve with rice. You can add some ice cubes to each serving 




  1. JB Atlanta, GA joined 5/11 & has 1 comment

    Thank God I found this site. I was stationed in Korea for a year in the late 90’s. I love the food, and there’s only one Korean restaurant anywhere close to me, and it’s really not that close….

  2. luke1979 Canberra Australia joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    I was able to get a bunch a seeds from a Korean friend and planted them, I finally made my first home grown batch before I left for my holidays, I like mine with a bit more fish sauce, I have to say since I have found your site which was a while ago all I eat now is Korean food :-) lost a bit of weight too actually about 14 kilos :-). I have used this chopped up fine with some raw chopped up tuna and made gimbap with it. Thanks

  3. sunae joined 9/10 & has 1 comment

    I was wondering if I could use Daikon and daikon leaves instead of the young summer radish? I live in Argentina and I’ve never seen young summer radish. I want to make Naengmyeon (cold noodles).

  4. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09 & has 89 comments

    I made this for the second time tonight because one of my daughters loves it. I have never seen her eat kimchi so well until I made this recipe. My husband said that he would like just regular yeolmu kimchi (without the mul) and I was glad to see that you said in your video that you can just eat it as is (without the water). The batch without the water seems salty to me, but if it doesn’t taste right I can always just add water.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      I’m glad to hear that your family love yeolmu kimchi. If you want yeolmu kimchi instead of yeolmu mulkimchi (with water), use less salt and fish sauce. 1/2 cup fish sauce is too much for yeolmu kimchi. Use about 3 tbs fish sauce.

  5. vortexae Boulder, Colorado, USA joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    I have just made this mulkimchi with red round radishes and, since they didn’t have any of their leaves, a bit of curly kale. It tastes so good fresh, and it looks so pretty, it’s almost a shame to cover it with water and ferment it! What a fantastic way to use up the radishes from the past few weeks’ CSA pick-up. I will try to send you a photo.

  6. sirdanilot Terneuzen, The Netherlands joined 10/09 & has 25 comments

    maangchi can I use those tiny red radishes to make this kimchi or will it not ferment properly (as in, rot or taste bad…)? if so can I add the leaf part too?

    or could I use cubed daikon radish? I see some recipes online with daikon radish but the ingredient amounts wheren’t exact so I wasn’t too sure…

  7. mona& has 2,272 comments

    i was wondering if u can make a video of mul kimchee ..which u use daikon,onion springs,suger,salt,green chilly,nashi pear and garlic..and u put it in a jar to ferment wud be nice if u can do that..i hardly find any exact details using these ingredients…and not much info about it..thnkx

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      oh, ok,you can make so many different kinds of mulkimchi. I used yeolmu (young summer radish) in this recipe. More mulkimchi recipes will be coming in the future. Thank you!

  8. ddrfan210& has 2 comments

    are there any other types of fish sauce?

    my brother can’t eat fish like. catfish, perch, shrimp, crawfish, crab, most fish that feed off the bottom of water lakes. he’s hebrew.

    • hanaxela joined 1/10 & has 4 comments

      You can buy a fish sauce that was made from anchovies (a Kosher fish). I just bought some the other day (we eat Kosher).

    • orionflux joined 8/09 & has 16 comments

      hanaxela is correct. i am a messianic hebrew & i keep a “clean” diet, so i don’t eat those types of things, either.. you can use anchovy fish sauce. :) anchovies are a “clean” fish. any time any recipe calls for fish sauce, i use some made from anchovies.

  9. j_0252& has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    I was wondering instead of using flour can you use sweet rice flour? Thank You!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      hmm, I have never used porridge made with sweet rice flour for mulkimchi, but why not? By the way, you can skip the porridge if you want to clear soup kimchi. I sometimes make mulkimchi without making porridge.

  10. jo& has 2 comments

    but how much salt instead of the fish sauce?? thanks so much for this btw. i really love your site. =)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      My recipe says “Add 1 tbs sugar (optional) and ½ cup of fish sauce (you can replace this with salt)”

      I don’t know how much salt will give the same saltiness as 1/2 cup of fish sauce..

      Why don’t you add 1/3 cup salt first and taste it if it’s too bland or not. If so, add more salt.

  11. Anonymous& has 2,272 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I have been waiting for the summer to make this recipe.
    I think everything turned out good. I wanted to make two batches one with water and the other without. I wasn’t expecting the leaves to take as long to wilt down, maybe I didn’t put enough salt. I made everything yesterday and tasted the water yeolmu and it tasted so good I think by tonight I will be able to refrigerate it. Houston is extra hot this year I think that effects the fermentation possess.
    Thanks to you I’ll have a wonderful dinner!

  12. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    Hello Maangchi,
    I had a lot of yeolmu in my garden and made a second batch of kimchi.
    This time it’s fermenting much faster. I have bubbles within 24 hours instead of two days. I know that there are many factors affecting fermentation time, like yeast with bread dough. My kitchen was about the same temperature both times. I am wondering if salting time makes a difference. This time I had to leave it over an hour I got too busy.
    I’m wondering if salting time a factor in fermentation time?

  13. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    I made yeolmu mul kimchi with radishes I grew in my garden!! yay for me, I am so excited about this accomplishment. I left it on the counter for 2 days it was nice and bubbly. It is DELICIOUS. Your recipe is easy to follow. I did watch the video a couple of extra times to be sure I had everything in the correct place and timeline.
    Thank you again for helping us learn the wonderful cuisine of Korea.

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

    I can’t tell you exact amount, but how about using 1/4 cup-1/2 cup of salt instead of 1/2 cup of fish sauce? I mean start 1/4 cup salt and taste it and increase the amount if it’s too bland.

    • Mac& has 1 comment

      I think that even 1/4 cup of salt will be way too much salt to replace 1/2 cup of fish sauce. I don’t like fish sauce taste and usually I don’t even put any extra salt for cabbage kimchi or kkakdukki. The vegetables absorb a lot of salt that comes out into the sauce as it ferments. Maybe 1 – 2 tbsp would be enough?

    • annabanana Vancouver, Canada joined 2/09 & has 68 comments

      I saw a recipe for something else entirely that suggested using two teaspoons of salt plus “lots of peppers” to replace 3 tablespoons of fish sauce…

  15. Anonymous& has 2,272 comments

    How much salt should I use to replace the fish sauce.

    Love your site!

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