Nabak Kimchi

Time 40 minutes
Yields 3 ½ quarts
Nabak kimchi
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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Radishes and napa cabbage swim in a cool brine in this popular summertime kimchi. Nabak kimchi takes on an orange-red hue and slight heat, thanks to gochugaru (red chili pepper).

As a side dish, put about ½ cup of nabak kimchi, including brine, into individual bowls. Eat with spoons. The refreshing and crunchy side dish goes well with Korean barbecue or other grilled meats. To eat as a main dish, pour between one and two cups of nabak kimchi over thin wheat, buckwheat or rice noodles. Add a hard-boiled egg cut in half on top for protein, or other garnishes such as cucumber.


Cut the daikon into ⅛-inch-thick slices, then square off the rounded edges and cut each slice into 1-inch squares. Transfer to a large bowl and add the napa cabbage. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the vegetables and mix to incorporate salt evenly. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.


In a medium bowl, mix the water with the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the Korean chile flakes and stir to dissolve the salt. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, then strain the now-reddish brine through a fine mesh strainer or two layers of cheesecloth into the large bowl with the cabbage and daikon. Mix in the pear, garlic, ginger, scallions, onion and bell pepper. Season to taste with salt.


Transfer to an airtight gallon container or 4 1-quart containers. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, then refrigerate for another couple of days. Add optional minari only before eating.