Radishes are essential to Korean cuisine and show up in salads, stews, soups, braises, kimchi, and banchan (side dishes). The Korean radish is similar to the daikon radish but is shorter, rounder and usually has a green shoulder.
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A summer kimchi that is vinegary rather than spicy, dongchimi falls into the “white” or “water” category of the many different types of kimchi. Although dongchimi requires a few days of brining, it is very simple to make and lasts for a very long time in the refrigerator. With a tart, refreshing flavor, this white water kimchi (mool kimchi) is popular in the hot months as both a side dish and a cold soup.
This kimchi and its broth serve as the base for dongchimi gooksu, a summertime cold noodle soup.
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Kaktugi seasonings are almost identical to those in baechu kimchi (which is made from Napa cabbage), but the crunchiness of the radish gives it a snappy texture all its own. It's also good for children or a large family-style meal, since it's a little easier to eat. Kaktugi is not hard to prepare and the hands-on time is not long, but as with most kimchi, you do have to wait at least a day for the fermentation process to work its magic.
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Radishes were first cultivated in China and spread throughout Asia and then the whole world. They are members of the Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage) family and are related to kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and horseradish.
Radishes are a low-calorie and low-fat food; a cup of sliced radishes has less than 25 calories.
According to Barry Sears, author of "The Top 100 Zone Foods," radishes supply small amounts of a few key vitamins, which makes them an important part of your diet, particularly when combined with other vegetables that supply larger amounts of these nutrients. A 1/2 cup of radishes provides 14 mg of vitamin C. The same amount of radishes also contains trace amounts of other vitamins, including B vitamins, beta-carotene, and folic acid.