I am going to start the new year with this simple Korean radish side dish. Musaengchae (무생채) is a salad like dish that’s made with julienned radish. This recipe is a mild variation that’s simply seasoned with sugar, vinegar, and a little bit of salt. You might have had it at some Korean restaurants.
Spicy musaengchae is made with common kimchi seasonings such as gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes), garlic, saewujeot (salted shrimp), and/or fish sauce. Sometimes, sugar and vinegar are added.
Korean radish has firm crisp flesh and a slightly sweet and peppery taste. It’s a cold weather vegetable, so the radish tastes best in late fall and winter. This dish is simply seasoned, so it’s important to start with a tasty radish.
You can add a little bit of finely ground red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru) to add a hint of a reddish color, but this step is optional. If you don’t have finely ground chili flakes, finely mince the red chili pepper flakes you have with a knife on a cutting board. You can also mix it with a little bit of water to dissolve, and then run it through a strainer.
More Korean radish recipes
Musaengchae (Sweet and sour radish salad)
- 1 pound Korean radish mu
- 1 small carrot
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes gochugaru, (finely ground) - optional (see note)