Not to be confused with mul kimchi (water kimchi), dongchimi is a refreshing, water-based kimchi made of white radish. It is not as spicy as the 'red' kimchi; instead, it has a slightly sour, cool and crispy taste. Dongchimi was historically made in the winter or autumn, but nowadays you can make it whenever you want. Dongchimi is also versatile because the broth of dongchimi can be used for the soup base for other Korean dishes, like mul naengmyeon (cold noodle dish), dongchimi guksu (you guessed it -- dongchimi noodles) or as a nice, cool soup/side dish.
4 medium-sized white radish, (dongchimi moo) about 3-4" thick about 5-6" long. If you can't find these smaller radish, then you can use the big radish and cut into halves or quarters
3/4 - 1 cup of coarse salt
7-8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bunch of green onions
4 cups of water
1 Korean pear (optional)
1 small bunch of mustard greens or leaves (optional)
Remove leaves from the white radish and brush the skin with a coarse sponge. Rinse well. You can save the leaves and use it for uguji bokkeum.
In the fall, dongchimi kimchi was made with the whole moo, but since that would take too long to ripen, we will cut into 4 portions -- lengthwise once, then through the middle. Place some coarse salt on both hands and rub it to the cut radish pieces -- use about 1/4 cup of salt. Place the salted pieces into a glass jar.
Slice garlic into 2-3 pieces, and wrap it up in cheesecloth. Wash green onion stalks - do not chop. Cut jalapenos in the middle and remove the seeds. Place all three vegetables into the jar. (If you are using Seal the jar overnight or for 5-6 hours.
Mix 4 cups of water with 1/4 cup of salt, dissolving completely. Pour into the jar. Also add the pear and other vegetables if you are using any. Push down the radish pieces with a small flat stone and keep it at room temperature for about 5-6 days, then refrigerate (If the weather is warmer, it will ripen sooner).
When it’s time to eat, take out one piece of radish and cut into thin, bite-sized slices. Take out a piece of jalapeno and a green onion – also slice and put it with the sliced radish into a bowl. Scoop out ¼ cup of the water into the bowl. Add up to ½ cup of plain cold water, and a pinch of sugar to taste. Note: dongchimi is made salty so that it can last a long time - it can last for 2-3 mos as long as you keep it in the refrigerator. It's best eaten by itself with rice, or as mentioned above you can use this as broth in other dishes.