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David Chang refrigerator kimchi

Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 02:01 PM

I get a lot of strawberry daikons in my CSA box, so two weeks ago I made David Chang's daikon kimchi using the NY Times recipe:


The texture's right and it tastes pretty good. It's a bit sweet for my taste, but maybe that will ferment out eventually.

I substituted regular Kikkoman soy sauce for the usukuchi and that flavor's a bit strong. What's soy doing in kimchi at all? Next time maybe I'll substitute salt.

Nappa kimchi recipe with commentary from Chang:


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  1. l
    laserbeams RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 02:37 PM

    I made another chang recipe that called for kimchi.


    I find that his recipes for kimchi are not traditional, but they come out decently. But are not really like what I was taught to make when it comes to making the stuff. And I have found that, unsurprisingly, sore bought does not make a good substitute.

    2 Replies
    1. re: laserbeams
      Robert Lauriston RE: laserbeams Feb 9, 2013 02:45 PM

      Where I live there's excellent store-bought kimchi, two Korean grocery stores make their own in house and a Korean restaurant makes some that's sold in a few local stores. My only reason for trying to make my own was that I get so much daikon.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 10, 2013 07:06 PM

        I took this to a party and everybody liked it.

        The garlic is basically raw, next time I'll crack it, in fact maybe I should do that now with what's left.

        Some people liked the slices of ginger.

    2. s
      Sal Vanilla RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 03:06 PM

      I am getting ready to make a batch of Momofuku's kimchi in a couple weeks and it calls for usukucki. I bet I am doing the same one!

      Anyhoo - the usukuchi is strong in what way if you can describe. I am making a special trip to town to get it so if I can sub kikkoman without ruining the batch... Or is it something special, but just not for you?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Sal Vanilla
        Robert Lauriston RE: Sal Vanilla Feb 9, 2013 05:33 PM

        I used regular Kikkoman and thought theflavor was too strong. If usukuchi is much lighter it might be better, but I don't really think soy sauce belongs in kimchi.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Sal Vanilla RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 05:40 PM

          I think it is a form of soy sauce, what the exact flavor is - I don't know.

          I have not made kimchi in a few years I think. I can't remember whether or not it had soy sauce. I know there was fish sauce.

          1. re: Sal Vanilla
            Robert Lauriston RE: Sal Vanilla Feb 9, 2013 06:07 PM

            Traditional recipes usually use saeujeot (Korean salted shrimp) rather than fish sauce. Chang's uses both.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              calumin RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 07:27 PM

              I think it's pretty common to use both, but the fish sauce is usually a Korean anchovy sauce.

              Here's the recipe I use for kimchi and kkakdugi - the only difference is I use half the rice porridge called for in the recipe:


              1. re: calumin
                Robert Lauriston RE: calumin Feb 10, 2013 09:12 AM

                Wow, that's a complex and interesting recipe.

                1. re: calumin
                  Sal Vanilla RE: calumin Feb 11, 2013 11:13 PM

                  I think the last tie I made it I made it with anchovy sauce, Not the shrimp, but knew it was most often used.

                  Of course I also used too much and the wrong pepper (and the right). So I am not the go to girl. I could eat it until I couldn't... Argh

          2. re: Sal Vanilla
            Tokyoite RE: Sal Vanilla Feb 11, 2013 10:27 PM

            Usukuchi means "light palate" so I would assume it would be light flavored soy sauce.

          3. k
            kengk RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 03:35 PM

            I have been searching in vain for Daikon radishes to make pickled radish and carrot for banh mi.

            How much different do they taste from red radishes?

            8 Replies
            1. re: kengk
              CanadaGirl RE: kengk Feb 9, 2013 04:56 PM

              I find the pepperiness less harsh in Daikon, but if I had no option, I'd go with the red rather than go without a dish. I guess I'm lucky, I can find them at all the regular grocery stores.

              1. re: kengk
                Robert Lauriston RE: kengk Feb 9, 2013 05:35 PM

                Daikon is sometimes more earthy and definitely peppery. I think red radishes would be fine in banh mi, though I'm not sure they'd make good kimchi.

                No Asian markets in your area?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  C. Hamster RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 05:39 PM

                  +1. Although I had some fabulous watermelon radishes awile back that I immediately thought would make for some good mul kimchi.

                  You can find daikon in pretty much any asian market that carries produce. I've seen them at Whole Foods, too.

                  1. re: C. Hamster
                    piccola RE: C. Hamster Feb 9, 2013 06:03 PM

                    Slightly OT: I just recently tried watermelon radishes and they are the best thing ever. Delicious AND pretty!

                    1. re: C. Hamster
                      Robert Lauriston RE: C. Hamster Feb 9, 2013 06:11 PM

                      Actually, I think I used watermelon radish. Maybe strawberry daikon is what my CSA farm calls it.

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston
                      calumin RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 07:23 PM

                      The Korean daikon that is usually used for kkakdugi is different from Japanese daikon. It is shorter and fatter, and the texture is more dense.

                      I think you could use Japanese daikon and it would still be fine, but I haven't tried it -- I've only used Japanese daikon in soup.

                      1. re: calumin
                        paulj RE: calumin Feb 9, 2013 07:32 PM

                        With stores like 99Ranch, HMart, and local Korean markets I have the choice of the long Japanese daikon, the fatter Korean, a green top Korean, and several sizes of baby daikon (with greens). I like texture of the small ones, about 3" long, 1" diameter, best.

                    3. re: kengk
                      Sal Vanilla RE: kengk Feb 9, 2013 05:43 PM

                      Sometimes they call them mooli. Ask your grocer's produce manager if they will order them, sometimes they will.

                    4. pagesinthesun RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 9, 2013 07:44 PM

                      What is strawberry daikons? I have two daikons from my CSA...about a foot long each. I need to do something with them, they're taking up too much fridge space.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: pagesinthesun
                        paulj RE: pagesinthesun Feb 9, 2013 09:14 PM

                        A wide variety of vegetables can be seasoned this way, regardless of whether they are common in Korea or not.

                        On weekends HMart has a sampling table of house made kimchi. Not all have the red pepper powder (especially the seaweed based ones). But ones with a similar red season include nape (the most common), daikon (cubed or strips), garlic, cucumber, green chilies, squid, greens, fish cake.

                        1. re: pagesinthesun
                          Robert Lauriston RE: pagesinthesun Feb 10, 2013 09:17 AM

                          Google doesn't find many references to strawberry daikon. I'm thinking it's just what my CSA farm calls watermelon radish. They look the same in photos. They're roundish, white and/or green on the outside, and red on the inside. Here's a picture from the farm's web site:


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            kengk RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 10, 2013 09:40 AM


                            Several interesting ones here. I guess I will either have to grow them myself or drive to/through Atlanta. I'm thinking grow them.


                        2. paulj RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 10, 2013 10:14 AM

                          is a kimchi demo from the PBS Mind of a Chef series.

                          While it uses napa, daikon could be substituted.

                          You can also buy prepared 'kimchi base'

                          1. hannaone RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 10, 2013 11:31 AM

                            Usukuchi is a Japanese soy sauce that has a weaker, sweeter flavor, and is lighter in color than most other soy sauces. One of the ingredients is amazake (a sweet liquid made from fermented rice), so that may be why this soy sauce is used instead of the more traditional rice flour.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hannaone
                              Sal Vanilla RE: hannaone Feb 11, 2013 11:14 PM

                              Thank you so much.

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