I’ve recently fallen in love with Korean food and with gochugaru peppers in particular. I’ve used these slightly spicy red pepper flakes to make gochujang (a red pepper paste), gochujang mayo, and a sauce for Korean chicken wings.
My latest experiment is to use gochugaru pepper flakes to make pickled radishes. If you’re a fan of pickled veggies, you’ve gotta give them a try. They’re such a tasty condiment for so many foods!
How to Make Gochugaru Pickled Radishes
Korean chicken wings are frequently served with pickled or fermented sides like kimchi, cucumber salads, and pickled radishes. I love the tangy, fresh flavor of pickled veggies so I decided to give it a try.
Whatever I’m pickling, the basic process is always the same. I simmer water, vinegar, salt, and maple syrup or sugar together. Then I add additional aromatics such as herbs, spices, or garlic.
Pour the liquid over the prepared vegetables and let them do their thing! It doesn’t take long for the vegetables to start tasting pickled. If it’s a vegetable that’s thinly sliced it only takes an hour or two of sitting in the liquid to be ready to enjoy. Whole vegetables take a little longer.
Note: What I’m talking about here is quick-and-easy refrigerator pickling. Shelf-stable pickling or natural fermentation pickling is a different process.
Once you get the hang of it, move beyond cucumber pickles to other veggies! Pickled red onions are one of my favorites, and I’ve also pickled beets a few times.
Are Pickled Radishes Spicy?
Don’t worry, the gochugaru and garlic give the radishes a nice kick but aren’t overly spicy. If you aren’t a heat lover, you can use fewer pepper flakes or just leave them out completely.
Overall, the pickled radishes were a hit even with the kids. I’ll continue to make them whenever I have radishes to use up. They store in the fridge for several weeks. Now we eat them not only with Korean dishes but toss them in salads or on top of burgers, tacos, or rice bowls. Next, maybe I’ll try pickled jalapeños for a Mexican meal.
Pickled Radishes With Gochugaru Recipe
- 10 radishes
- 1 clove garlic
- ¾ cup white wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 TBSP maple syrup (or sugar, optional but good for sweetness)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp gochugaru red pepper flakes (optional, but great for flavor)
- Very thinly slice the radishes and garlic and place them in a pint or quart size mason jar.
- In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, water, syrup, and salt until it just simmers.
- Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes.
- Add gochugaru, if using, and whisk to just combine.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the radishes and let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Have you ever made pickled radishes? How do you use them?
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