Musaengchae (Spicy Radish Salad)

This Korean spicy radish salad is an easy side dish (banchan) to put together. It can be a quick substitute for kimchi and is great in bibimbap.
Korean spicy radish salad

It’s that time of year again! Korean radish, mu (or moo), is in season! I’ve posted several radish dishes before, such as kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi), dongchimi (radish water kimchi), muguk (radish soup), and munamul (stir-fried and steamed radish). Here, I made a popular side dish called musaengchae (무생채).

In late fall, Korean radishes taste really sweet, juicy, and crunchy. Korean radish is a variety of white radish, which has firm crisp flesh and a slightly sweet and peppery taste. It’s similar to daikon, a Japanese variety, but quite different in texture and taste. However, you can use daikon if Korean radish is not available in your area. 

What is musaengchae?

Saengchae is a general term for salad-like dishes made with uncooked vegetables. Musaengchae is made with a radish. There are several variations, such as non-spicy, sweet and sour radish salad. This spicy version is a more common variation. 

This one has the flavor of fresh kimchi (not fermented), so it can also be a quick substitute for kimchi. It’s great in bibimbap as well. It’s also a classic dish that’s served with bossam (boiled pork wrapped in salted napa cabbage).       

How to make Korean spicy radish salad

Musaengchae is an easy side dish to put together. The most difficult part for some of you will be julienning the radish. You can use a mandolin if you like. For this type of musaengchae, I like to salt the radish first to draw out some water for extra crunch. 

In this recipe, I used 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (myulchi aekjeot), but sometimes I also use salted shrimp (saeujeot). You can of course omit the fish sauce and use the same amount of soup soy sauce (gukganjang) or simply a little more salt to season to make it a vegan dish. You can also use some vinegar to taste if you want to add a bit of sour taste.  

More Korean radish recipes

Musaengchi (sweet and sour radish salad)
kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi)
Muguk (Radish Soup) 
Munamul (Stir-fried radish side dish) 

Korean spicy radish salad in a small bowl

Have you tried this Korean spicy radish salad recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Korean spicy radish salad in a small bowl

Musaengchae (Korean Spicy Radish Salad)

4.64 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Hyosun
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound mu (Korean radish)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 or 2 scallions finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (myulchi aekjeot)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar adjust to taste - see note
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds optional


  • Clean the radish by scrubbing with a brush and/or scratching off the stubborn impurities with a small knife. Peel the  skin only if necessary. Cut into matchsticks (about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick).
    DSC6802 640x427 - Musaengchae (Spicy Radish Salad)
  • Sprinkle the salt over the radish and toss well to coat evenly. Let sit for about 20 minutes until the radish has softened and released some liquid. Drain excess liquid. Do not rinse.
    Julienned Korean radish
  • Add all the remaining ingredients, except the scallion and sesame seeds. Mix well by hand. Taste and add more salt or fish sauce, if necessary.
    Julienned radish being mixed with Korean chili pepper powder
  • Throw in the scallion and sesame seeds and toss everything well. 
    Korean spicy radish salad


As a sugar substitute, you can use corn syrup, oligodang, or maesil cheong (Korean plum extract). 
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!

This recipe was originally posted in November 2012. I’ve updated it here with new photos, more information and minor changes to the recipe.  

Leave a Comment



  1. Hi, would you know where to buy them if I can’t make them on my own? 🙂 Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this great recipe. I love Bo ssam, and love the radish! Finally, I can make it myself instead of buying kimchi!

  3. Mybitchinkitchen says

    Love theses flavorful combination! Slightly sweet but with a big ZING in he end. Easy recipe to make. Give it a try!

  4. How long can this keep in the fridge?

  5. is there a substitution for the fish and shrimp ingredients? my mum is vegetarian and I wanna make this for her! 😀

    • You can use some Korean soup soy sauce if you have some. Otherwise, omit them entirely and simply use more salt to season. Hope you try it.

  6. I love “Fresh” Kimchi like cucumber salad I love radish and thank you as I had been not using it because fermented still I don’t like as much this will be good with crispy pork belly or added to a fusion taco of spicy pork or sweet Kalbi I bet

  7. KoreanKraut says

    I remember growing up watching my mom make all sorts of delicious dishes. The smells, she would mix some things then give me a taste. Today I don’t remember the specific ingredients and amounts, but thanks to sites like yours I can recreate those wonderful dishes, and when it comes to the final amount of something I use my memories to adjust the seasonings like Mom made! I miss her

  8. Can i know how long can this last, from days or months? Do we refrigerate it or how?

    • It can last weeks if you make it saltier, but this recipe isn’t that much. It will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

  9. Can you use american radish in this recipe?

  10. parking Paris says

    Yummy this recipe looks so spicy me likey. Will try this and taste soon. Thanks for the idea.

  11. British Interior Design in your home says

    Always making it a point in consuming spicy food is what I live for. I am so going to make this for dinner tonight.

  12. Thank you for the recipe. I’m an American man.. was in Korea
    many years ago, and didn’t know enough Korean to try every-
    thing, unfortunately. I love radishes, and this seems like an
    easy recipe, with stuff I can find. I have been trying Korean
    recipes for a while now, as I get older; and have found I like
    all of them.. and am hungry for them. Mark

  13. Hyosun, it’s incredible! I posted a Korean Radish salad just before the weekend. Of course mine doesn’t look as beautiful and genuine as yours and the recipe I found was much much simpler than this one (I had checked your blog before, so now I regret I haven’t waited a couple of days 😉 I am sure your salad tastes much better than mine from a basic Korean cookery book. Thank you for a new recipe I will soon add to my Korean dishes repertoire.

  14. Sandra SECooking says

    Your cutting is amazing and salad looks delicious. Simple but rich with flavor! Thank you for sharing!

  15. I love this side dish! So excited to try this out! I had been hoping that you would post this dish!!

  16. Share the Bossam recipe too!!! 😛

    oh and thank you for posting one of my most favorite banchans 🙂