Korean pickled radish has the perfect balance of sour, salty, and sweet. Also called chicken mu (치킨 무), this pairs great with Korean fried chicken or other heavy foods.
This crunchy Korean pickled radish is a quick and easy pickled radish that you can enjoy as a Korean side dish or banchan. It's ready to eat in one day and requires only five ingredients!
It's also called 'chicken mu' 치킨 무, which translates to 'chicken radish'. This is because it's almost always served with Korean fried chicken. The sour, vinegary, crunchy radish helps cut through the heaviness of fried chicken.
If you've ever been to a Korean fried chicken restaurant like Bonchon, this is the pickled radish side dish that's served alongside the fried chicken.
In Korean cuisine, there are many pickled radish side dishes that all use different varieties of radish. Out of all the radish side dishes, this is one of the easiest ones you can make!
Ingredients you'll need
- Korean radish - Make sure to buy Korean radish for the best result. You can substitute with daikon if it's not available (more on this below).
- White vinegar - Distilled white vinegar has the cleanest, brightest taste that lets the radish flavor shine through. You can substitute with rice wine vinegar but I wouldn't recommend using other varieties of vinegar.
Korean radish has a rounder, shorter shape compared to a daikon radish and the top third or half of the radish is a greenish yellow. Look for one that feels heavy for its size without major blemishes.
Why do I recommend using Korean radish? It has a stronger flavor and crunchier texture than daikon radish. I find it also has slightly less water content than daikon radish which helps it keep its bite in the pickling liquid.
Step by step instructions
- Stir together the ingredients for the pickling liquid until the sugar dissolves.
- Peel the radish and cut it into half inch cubes.
- Add the radish pieces to the pickling liquid and store it in the fridge overnight.
- Serve chilled. It tastes best after 2 days.
What to serve with this
Korean pickled radish is usually served with meals that are deep fried or heavy on meat because the bright, tangy radish lightens up. You can serve this with any of these meals:
Frequently asked questions
I recommend using Korean radish because it has a stronger flavor and crunchier texture than daikon radish. I find it also has slightly less moisture than daikon radish which helps it keep its crunchy in the pickling liquid.
You can certainly substitute with daikon if Korean radish is unavailable.
Let the radish pickle for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving, though it tastes best after 2 days. I recommend serving it chilled and consuming this within 4 to 5 days.
You can find it in any Korean grocery store and at most Asian grocery stores. Look for one that feels heavy for its size and is not blemished. The top part of the radish should have a green hue.
More Korean side dishes to try:
- Spicy Korean Radish Salad | Musaengchae
- Korean Perilla Leaf Kimchi
- Korean Dried Zucchini Side Dish
- Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
- Korean Shiitake Mushroom Side Dish
- Korean Soybean Sprout Side Dish – Kongnamul Muchim
Korean Pickled Radish - Chicken Mu
- 1 lb Korean radish - cut into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups)
- ⅓ cup white vinegar - substitute with rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup filtered water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- halved chilis or sliced jalapenos for spice - (optional)
- Peel and cut the radish into ½ inch cubes.
- Mix together the pickling liquid until the sugar dissolves and then add the cubed radish pieces. See Note 1.
- Transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
- Serve chilled. See Note 2.
- I prefer a 1:1:1 ratio of vinegar, sugar, and water. If you prefer a more mild pickled radish, increase the amount of water.
- You can enjoy this 24 hours later but if you prefer a stronger pickled flavor, wait until 48 hours later.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 7 to 10 days.
- Serve with Korean fried chicken.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.