As a follow up to my basic Brine Pickled Daikon post a few days ago, I am, for today’s recipe, going to use Daikon again. This time, however, I am going to make a variety of the Korean style pickle known as Kimchi. May people will be familiar with Kimchi, at least in passing, but the sorts made with Daikon are not generally as well known in the west as are the cabbage varieties.
As one might expect, there are countless versions of Kimchi… Daikon, Cabbage, or otherwise… but the most familiar combines a main vegetable along with secondary items, chiefly green onions, ginger and garlic, and then these are fermented in a spicy paste of red chili. In Korea, it is also very common to add seafood products which, when fermented, add a rich depth to the overall taste. Oysters are quite common, as is fish sauce, or else the very pungent Korean Salted Shrimp. I am going to be using Dried Shrimp in today’s recipe, but other than that, it will be pretty straightforward…
- 2 cups Daikon Chunks (more or less);
- 2 tbsp. non-iodized Salt;
- ¼ cup dried Shrimp;
- 1 cup boiling Water;
- 1 or 2 Scallions, chopped;
- 2 – 3 tbsp. Gochujang (Korean Chili paste);
- 2 tbsp. Garlic paste;
- 1 tbsp. minced Ginger;
- 2 tbsp. Sugar;
Also, as I will mention below, you may wish to have a little extra water made into a brine at 1 tsp. per cup.
The first step is to liberally salt the daikon chunks. Make sure you rub it into the pieces and then leave everything to sit for several hours until the chunks have softened and expelled some liquid.
While the daikon is being salted, pour about ¾ to 1 cup of boiling water over the dried shrimp and let them soften and flavor the water.
When the daikon is soft, pour off the liquid that has accumulated, but do not rinse the vegetable.
Now, drain the shrimp, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop them finely. If you are using very tiny shrimp, this can be omitted.
Use the drained soaking liquid to make a pickling medium by adding the Gochujang, garlic paste, ginger and sugar. Stir well.
Add the daikon, shrimp and scallion to the medium and stir together.
Now transfer the mix to a suitable pickling jar and allow to sit at room temperature to begin fermentation. As with the basic brine pickle we looked at a few days ago, this will take anywhere from 1 to 3 days, depending upon the warmth of your kitchen or storage area. Basically, you can tell when the process is underway when bubbles start forming in the liquid and a nice, slightly sour smell develops.
During this process, the daikon will continue to throw off water. Ideally, you want all the solids to be fully submerged for aging and, if this does not occur naturally, you can top up the container with a little of the brine previously mentioned.
Once fermentation is underway, transfer the contents to your fridge for aging. A week or two is good but the longer you allow it to sit, the stronger the pickle will become.