When the season changes from spring to summer, there is a special kimchi that is very popular in Korea. It is called "chonggak kimchi, 총각김치". This delicious kimchi is made with small white radish with long green leafy stems. Let's learn to make it shall we?

Chonggak means bachelor in Korean. In olden days of Korea, many young men would grow their hair long and have it braided until they get married. So the shape and the image of this particular radish reminiscent to the hair of the young Korean bachelors, so they named the kimchi as a bachelor kimchi. 

This bachelor kimch happens to be on of my absolute favorite kimchi of all. Its crunchiness is irresistible and the pungent flavor it salivating to the taste. You will find this radish very often in many Korean groceries these days, so look out for them. They are wonderful kimchi. They are often called "altari radish (알타리 무)" as well. 

These are the altari radish. You will need to grab a few bunches to make kimchi with. 

Using a small knfie, scrape the dirty skin layer of the radish. Just scrape off quickly to remove the dirt and even out the layer.

scrape off the base part of radish where it meets the stem part. It usually collects lots of dirt.

Cut off any rough or damaged leaves at the end.

If the white radish part is too big, slice in half or quarter but make sure to intact with the stem part, though.

Sprinkle Korean coarse sea salt over every few radishes and layer them on top. Let them sit for 2 hours to wilt. Flip them 1-2 times while salting.

Meanwhile make a rice glue by whisking together 1 cup of anchovy stock and 2 tablespoon of sweet rice flour. Cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. You can use water instead of the anchovy stock, but the stock will bring more flavor to the kimchi once fermented.

To make kimchi seasoning paste, blend the onion, garlic, ginger, salted shrimp, anchovy sauce, and apple slices. Puree until very smooth.

Mix in 2/3 cup of rice glue with the onion garlic puree, sugar, and the Korean chili flakes in a bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

When the radishes are salted, rinse them with water 2-3 times and drain well.

Get your working space ready for assembly. I use a large baking sheet to do the job. Make sure you wear a pair of globe to protect your hand. Line a large container with a piece of plastic bag inside.

Spread the kimchi seasoning paste evenly to the radish. Make sure both the radish and the stem parts are coated with the paste.

This is an optional step. I like to roll the leafy stem around the base of radish. That way the kimchi stores nicely without the leaves getting tangled .

Stack them in the container. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan or bowl you used to assemble the kimchi. Rinse out all the great seasoning residue in the pan (or bowl) and pour back into the kimchi container. 

Tie the bag and close the lid. Let the kimchi sit in the room temperature for 3-5 days, then store in the fridge for a few more days until they are nicely fermented. Radish kimchi takes longer to ferment than cabbage kimchi.

Once this bachelor kimchi ferments, you will love the flavor and the texture. The crunchiness of the radish is irresistible. I can eat the entire bowl of rice with this kimchi alone. So good! Hope you can challenge this kimch recipe. It is not that difficult and you will have the truly tasty summer kimchi rewarding you. Enjoy!

~ Holly

Bachelor Kimchi (chonggak kimchi)


  • 3-1/4 lb young radish bunches
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 5-6 dried large anchovies
  • 2 tablespoon sweet rice flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/4 apple, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2" piece ginger
  • 3 tablespoon anchovy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salted shrimps (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup Korean chili flakes


  1. Clean the radish by scraping off the dirty surface and cut off the tail. Keep the green leafy stem part is attached to the radish. Cut the white part of radish in half of quarter if they are too big. Rinse them well.
  2. In a large shallow bowl on in a kitchen sink, place the radishes and sprinkle with sea salt evenly all over. Let them soak for 2 hours, turning once or twice. When the radishes seem wilted and lifeless, rinse in a water a couple of times and drain in a colander. Let them sit while you are getting the filling ready.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small pot, combine dried anchovies with 2 cups of water and bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Strain to reserve 3/4 cup of stock. Discard the fish.
  4. In a small pot, combine 1 cup of reserved stock with 2 tablespoon of sweet rice flour. Bring them to med-high heat to boil and thicken, whisking constantly. This is the sweet rice glue (You will only use 1/2 cup of this glue). Let it cool.
  5. In a blender, combine onion, apple, garlic, ginger, salted shrimps with anchovy sauce. Puree them until very smooth. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add 2/3 cup of the reserved sweet rice glue, Korean chili flakes and sugar. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes for the chili flakes to soften up.
  6. In a large baking pan or shallow mixing blow, place a few radishes and smother with the chili mixture. You might need to do this in batches to avoid overflowing. Toss, rub and incorporate the chili mixture to evenly coat the radishes and its leafy stems. Take the leafy stem part and roll around the base of radish part. 
  7. Place the kimchi in an airtight container lined with a large plastic bag. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan or mixing bowl you assembled the kimchi in, scrape all the seasoning residue of the pan and pour back inside the bag in the container.
  8. Tie the bag and close the lid. Let the kimchi sit on the room temperature for 3-5 days first, then store in the refrigerator for 5 more days. Your bachelor kimchi should be ready to eat. (Toss the kimchi with the kimchi juice on the bottom)

Click the image below for more delicious kimchi recipes.

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