Recently, interest in Korean food, especially regarding its health benefits, has greatly increased. Blame it on Kdramas, K-pop culture, flat bellys and poreless,glass skin textures. Seriously, what do they eat to achieve that perfect looking skin without make up? I know plastic surgery is a booming business, but if we look closely to the Korean diet, it’ll most probably explain why it’s considered to be one of the healthiest diets.
Traditionally, baking or frying were not common cooking methods. Koreans tended to use fermenting, boiling, blanching, seasoning, and pickling. Among these methods, the most characteristic method is fermentation. The process of fermentation enriches food flavors and preserves foods naturally. If you haven’t tried Kimchi before, then you’re missing something in your life. It’s regarded as the healthiest food on earth. I can go all day listing all it’s health benefits but let’s reserve that for when we try to make a tutorial on homemade kimchi.
This time, we’re featuring one humble root vegetable that is Daikon or Korean radish. Daikon radishes have a crispy texture and resemble large carrots. Their flavor is milder than that of other radish varieties and described as slightly sweet yet slightly spicy. You can eat it on its own, it’s like having crunchy Pear and Jicama together. Back home, our radishes tend to be stronger in flavor and we usually use it in soups or fresh salad with red onions and tomatoes. We didn’t really know that you can do more with this simple single vegetable. Now, you don’t need an excuse to not eat vegetables. Quoting Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and not medicine be thy food.”
So get yourself up and start cooking. One radish, three ways to prepare for a healthy side dish. It’s nicely paired with Korean spicy pork belly. Now, I’m getting hungry! Let us know if you’ve made this one. Enjoy!
KOREAN RADISH (DAIKON)3 WAYS
Korean Spicy Radish Salad/Musaengchae 무생채
1 pound (Korean radish)
1 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 scallions finely chopped
2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) adjust to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar-adjust to taste
1 teaspoon sesame seeds(optional)
Clean the radish. Peel the skin off using a peeler. We used a mandolin slicer for evenly sliced julienned pieces.
Transfer to a bowl.
Add all the remaining ingredients. Add everything except for the scallion and sesame seeds. Mix well by hand. I used rubber gloves to protect my hands from the spices.
Taste as you go. Taste the mixture and add more sugar as desired.
Throw in the scallion and sesame seeds. Mix the remaining ingredients and toss everything well.
Transfer in an airtight container. The radish will stay longer if kept in an airtight glass jar. Store in the fridge.
Korean Pickled Radish/Chicken-mu 치킨무
1 large Korean radish
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
Peel and slice radish. Slice radish into about 3/4 cubes.
Heat water in a small saucepan.Add vinegar and sugar, mix well until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool down in room temperature.
Transfer radish to an airtight container. Transfer the sliced radish in an airtight glass container. Pour the liquid mixture, make sure everything is covered.
Store in the fridge. Let the radish settle down overnight to absorb the flavor. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.
Korean Yellow Pickled Radish/Danmuji 단무지
1 large sized Korean radish
1 cup water
1 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup sugar (you can make it 1 cup if you want it sweeter)
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon whole peppercorn
2 dried bay leaves
Rinse the radish. Peel and slice the radish. We used a mandolin slicer for even slices.
Heat water in a saucepan.Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. Turn off heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Transfer radish to an airtight container. Transfer the radish in an airtight glass container,strain the liquid mixture and pour over the radishes.
Store in the fridge. Let the radish settle down overnight to absorb the flavor. They can be eaten the next day. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.