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Crunchy Korean Pickled Radish – Fast and Easy!

Published: Sep 16, 2020 · Modified: Sep 27, 2020 by Jamie · This post may contain affiliate links · 39 Comments

Korean pickled radish has the perfect balance of sour, salty, and sweet. Also called chicken mu (치킨 무), this pairs great with Korean fried chicken or other heavy foods.

This crunchy Korean pickled radish is a quick and easy pickled radish that you can enjoy as a Korean side dish or banchan. It’s ready to eat in one day and requires only five ingredients!

It’s also called ‘chicken mu’ 치킨 무, which translates to ‘chicken radish’. This is because it’s almost always served with Korean fried chicken. The sour, vinegary, crunchy radish helps cut through the heaviness of fried chicken.

If you’ve ever been to a Korean fried chicken restaurant like Bonchon, this is the pickled radish side dish that’s served alongside the fried chicken.

In Korean cuisine, there are many pickled radish side dishes that all use different varieties of radish. Out of all the radish side dishes, this is one of the easiest ones you can make!

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Korean radish – Make sure to buy Korean radish for the best result. You can substitute with daikon if it’s not available (more on this below).
  • White vinegar – Distilled white vinegar has the cleanest, brightest taste that lets the radish flavor shine through. You can substitute with rice wine vinegar but I wouldn’t recommend using other varieties of vinegar.
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Water

Korean radish has a rounder, shorter shape compared to a daikon radish and the top third or half of the radish is a greenish yellow. Look for one that feels heavy for its size without major blemishes.

Why do I recommend using Korean radish? It has a stronger flavor and crunchier texture than daikon radish. I find it also has slightly less water content than daikon radish which helps it keep its bite in the pickling liquid.

Step by step instructions

  1. Stir together the ingredients for the pickling liquid until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Peel the radish and cut it into half inch cubes.
  3. Add the radish pieces to the pickling liquid and store it in the fridge overnight.
  4. Serve chilled. It tastes best after 2 days.

What to serve with this

Korean pickled radish is usually served with meals that are deep fried or heavy on meat because the bright, tangy radish lightens up. You can serve this with any of these meals:

Frequently asked questions

Why use Korean radish?

I recommend using Korean radish because it has a stronger flavor and crunchier texture than daikon radish. I find it also has slightly less moisture than daikon radish which helps it keep its crunchy in the pickling liquid.

You can certainly substitute with daikon if Korean radish is unavailable.

How long do I let this pickle?

Let the radish pickle for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving, though it tastes best after 2 days. I recommend serving it chilled and consuming this within 4 to 5 days.

Where can I buy Korean radish?

You can find it in any Korean grocery store and at most Asian grocery stores. Look for one that feels heavy for its size and is not blemished. The top part of the radish should have a green hue.

More Korean side dishes to try:

Korean Pickled Radish – Chicken Mu

Korean picked radish are crunchy with a perfect balance of sour, salty, and sweet. Also called Chicken Mu, this pairs great with Korean fried chicken or other heavy food.

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Prep Time 10 mins

Total Time 10 mins

Course Side Dish

Cuisine Asian, Korean

Cook ModePrevent your screen from going dark

Instructions

  • Peel and cut the radish into ½ inch cubes.
  • Mix together the pickling liquid until the sugar dissolves and then add the cubed radish pieces. See Note 1.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  • Serve chilled. See Note 2.

✎ Recipe Notes

  1. I prefer a 1:1:1 ratio of vinegar, sugar, and water. If you prefer a more mild pickled radish, increase the amount of water.
  2. You can enjoy this 24 hours later but if you prefer a stronger pickled flavor, wait until 48 hours later.
  3. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 7 to 10 days.
  4. Serve with Korean fried chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Korean pickled radish good for you?

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How long does Korean pickled radish last?

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Is Korean radish and daikon the same?

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