Today’s Friday Food is another addition to the wonderful world of banchan (side dishes) we like to explore here at UKP!
Kkakdugi (깍두기) or cubed radish kimchi, is a variant of kimchi that replaces the classic napa cabbage with cubed radish, but keeps all the ingredients the same. Just like most well known Korean dishes, this one started in the royal court and has a rich history. It was accidentally made by an experimental Princess in the 1700s to congratulate the king, and being unnamed by the Princess, the king coined the name with a play on ggakduk sseolgi (깍둑썰기) – the name for cutting foods into cubes in Korean.
Kkakdugi is similar to the kimchi you know and love, with not only the ingredients, but with the most traditional form being stored to ferment in earthenware pots, and served as a delectable side dish before the radish gets soft. It is believed to be good for digestion, and of course has a wide selection of variations itself, the most relevant to the moment being that a popular variation flavored with whole raw oysters (gul kkakdugi) is a classic dish to eat during the Korean New Year, coming up this year on February 16th.
If you want to figure out how to make this satisfying banchan yourself, here’s Maangchi to help you along: