Indulging, once more, my pickle mania, I give you daikon kim chee. Any radish will do here, as of course, any root that can also be eaten raw. For radishes and roots that do not have the ‘bite’ of daikon, you may want to add a bit more hot pepper (or not). If you can get Korean red pepper powder, Gochugaru or Gochugalu, or even Japanese red pepper powder, all the better. You can also use hot chile powder, such as cayenne, or hot paprika which, though not authentic, are still good. If you have smoked hot paprika powder on hand, that will add an interesting depth of flavor to the kim chee. Know how hot your pepper powder is or use less than you think–you can always add more later. Also, I ate this a couple of hours after making it, and it was good. The next day, however, it was awesome! So if you can make this a day ahead of serving, do so.
3 – 4 gloves garlic, minced
1 T peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 t sugar or other sweetener, or to taste (don’t leave out, it balances the heat)
1 t salt
1 – 3 t hot pepper powder, or 1/2 t cayenne pepper powder, or to taste
1 lb or so daikon (or about 2 c chopped) or other root vegetable, or a combination
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar; or white wine vinegar, or cider vinegar
2 t soy sauce
2 t dark (toasted) sesame oil
1/2 c finely chopped onion, or scallions
1 T toasted sesame seeds
1. Combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, and hot pepper powder in a largish bowl. Mash it up with a wooden spoon or other kitchen utensil. You want to release some of the juice in the garlic and ginger. You could also buzz in a small food chopper, though not to a paste.
2. Peel, if necessary, the daikon. Cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Or, chop into circles, half moons, or chunks, you could even shred. Add to the bowl containing the garlic mixture.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you are making this hours or even a day ahead of serving, cover and refrigerate, stirring (and tasting) occasionally. Add more of any of the seasonings if you think it necessary.