Yeolmu mul kimchi is a refreshing summertime dish. It’s not a spicy dish but goes great with spicy foods. To keep it gout friendly and vegan, this version is made without fish sauce.
It is a fermented food, so yes, it is good for supporting healthy bacteria in your gut.
Yeolmu is Korean for young radishes. During the summer, the radishes are harvested while young, mostly for the leaves. The large radishes are best during the fall.
For today’s recipe, we need two bunches of yeolmu. These have nice green leaves and are perfect for this recipe.
The first thing we have to do is clean the yeolmu. Rinse them off in cool water. Then use a knife to scrape the dirt off of the root. And where the root meets the stalk. Cut off the tiny part at the root tip. Then rewash them.
In the picture above you can see one that has been cleaned and one that has not.
After cleaning the yeolmu, cut it into two small sections. Place into a bowl and add 1/2 Cup of coarse sea salt, toss and let it sit for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, toss again. After another twenty minutes one more time. You can substitute another coarse salt if you need to Kosher salt works great. But the salt must be free of iodine.
By tossing three times, we ensure that moisture is pulled out of the yeolmu. This also ensures the surface is ready for the bacteria that we want to grow. The bad bacteria does not like a salty environment.
Most of this salt will be washed away, but the recipe card’s sodium info will show all of it is in.
Some of the other important ingredients we need.
Asian pear, I used a Korean pear but any firm sweet fruit works. Including apple.
Sweet rice flour is food for the bacteria. Suppose you can not get sweet rice flour. You can peel and cut up a small potato, cover with water and boil until very tender. Then blend the potato with a small amount of the water you cooked it in. This will be your paste.
Peppers, I wanted a mix of green and red, but the red ones did not look good when I was at the market. So I used green Korean peppers. But you can use what you can find but keep in mind that this is not a spicy dish.
Ginger, ginger helps to keep the dish refreshing
Garlic, it’s a Korean dish so of course it has garlic.
Gochugaru / Korean red pepper flakes, I really do recommend sticking with the Korean brands. Spice level it up to you, but normally we buy medium spicyness. I do have one bag of spicy just for making Tongbaechu-kimchi.
Fish sauce (not pictured), normally this dish has fish sauce and sometimes anchovy broth. But to keep it gout friendly, we will use my Vegan Fish Sauce.
Sugar (not pictured) sugar will help kick start the fermentation. It’s easy food for the bacteria.
Water (not pictured), For the fermentation process, you need clean water without chlorine. Chlorine kills bacteria, even the good bacteria.
Optional: For other greens, you can add other greens like young napa cabbage or pretty much any mild-tasting green you like. Just salt them like you do the yeolmu and proportionally increase your other ingredients.
While the yeolmu is “pickling,” we need to make out the paste and let it cool down. The paste helps to give the water somebody and provides carbohydrates for the bacteria. It is effortless to make. To a pot, add one cup of water and one Tablespoon of sweet rice flour. Please give it a good mix and heat until it starts to bubble. While heating, keep slowly mixing.
After it starts to bubble sit it aside and let it cool.
While the paste is cooling down and the yeolmu is “pickling,” we can prep our other veggies. Slice up the onion, pear, pepper, and dice the ginger and garlic. Note: the picture was taken before I diced the garlic and ginger.
After our paste has cooled down, add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. One teaspoon of Gochugaru and two Tablespoons of Vegan Fish Sauce. Please give this a mix, and it is ready to use.
After one hour and tossing three times, our yeolmu is pickled or salted. It’s ready for the salt to be rinsed off. Notice how much it has shrunk in volume.
To wash off the salt, fill your bowl with cool water and gently stir the yeolmu. Pour off the water and rinse again. Then let it drain. During the process, be gentle.
After the yeolmu has been rinsed and drained, add your paste, and the cut up veggies. Notice that the ginger and garlic have been diced up.
Give everything a good but gentle mix.
Then add it to a clean (sterilized if possible) jar and cover it with bottled water. Now you’re ready to ferment.
My preference is lightly fermented. For this, leave the yeolmu out with the lid off for twelve hours (at room temperature of 70 degrees F). Then into the fridge for three days. It’s now ready to eat but will continue to ferment.
My Wife prefers a little more fermentation time. To achieve this, leave the yeolmu out with the lid off for thirty-six hours (at room temperature of 70 degrees F). Then into the fridge for three to five days. It’s now ready to eat but will continue to ferment.
Notes: When taking some of the yeolmu out of the jar, always use clean utensils. You do not want to introduce bad bacteria to the batch. If you take some out of the jar for your meal and have some leftover, do not add it back to the jar. Please leave it in a separate container and use it first.
- 2 bunches Young Radishes
- 1/2 cup Sea Salt No Iodine
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Sweet Rice Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Gochugaru
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan Fish Sauce
- 1/2 Half Asian Pear
- 1/2 Half Medium Onion
- 2 Tablespoon Ginger
- 2 Tablespoon Garlic
- 6 Cups Water
Pickle the Yeolmu
- Wash the yeolmu in cool water.
- Use a knife to scrape the dirt off of the root and cut off the tip.
- Wash again.
- Cut the yeolmu into two inch pieces.
- Put the prepared yeolmu into a large bowl.
- Add 1/2 cut sea salt and toss.
- Let sit for one hour. Turn every twenty minutes. (total of three times)
Make the Paste
- To a small pot add one cup of water and one Tablespoon of sweet rice flour. Stir to combine.
- Place pot on a burner at medium heat. Keep slowly stirring until the mixture starts to bubble.
- Remove from the burner and let cool.
- After the paste has cooled add 1/4 teaspoon sugar, one teaspoon Gochugaru and two Tablespoons of vegan fish sauce. Stir and set aside.
Prepare other vegetables.
- Slice up the onion, pear, pepper and dice the ginger and garlic.
- Wash the salt off the yeolmu by filling the bowl with cool water and gently stirring the yeolmu. Pour off the water and rinse again. Then let it drain
- To the bowl with the rinsed and drained yeolmu add your paste and the cut up veggies.
- Mix everything.
- Add to a clean glass jar.
- Leave the jar of yeolmu out with the lid off for twelve hours (at room tempature of 70 degrees F). Then into the fridge for three days. It's now ready to eat but will continue to ferment.