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Article: Sweet Garleek Kimchi by Susan Kim

Sweet Garleek Kimchi by Susan Kim

Sweet Garleek Kimchi by Susan Kim


In addition to enjoying the Sweet Garleek kimchi as a fresh condiment, it’s wonderful to cook with, too—think dishes like fried rice, jjigaes, grilled cheeses and quesadillas. It will make everything it touches even more delicious.


  • 1 bunch (5 stalks) Sweet Garleek, rinsed in cold water 
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt 
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil, divided
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 fat knob ginger (about 90 grams), peeled 
  • ¼ pound daikon (about half a medium daikon), peeled and grated
  • ½ cup gochugaru 
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup 
  • ½ cup anchovy shiitake kelp stock (or water) 


Trim both ends of the Sweet Garleek stalks; these can be saved and frozen for making stock in the future.

Set aside one whole stalk.

Slice the remaining stalks lengthwise in half, then cut horizontally into 2-inch pieces. If you find any dirt in the stalks while cutting them, simply place them in a bowl of cold water and give them a little shake until the dirt falls to the bottom. Scoop out the stalks with a spider strainer or slotted spoon and shake dry.

In a large bowl, toss these Sweet Garleek stalks with the salt and fish sauce. Set aside. 

Cut the remaining stalk in half, separating the white stem from the green tops—set the green tops aside. Slice the white stem into thin rounds, then place them in a mortar and season lightly with salt. With a pestle, pound the stem pieces until a rough paste has formed, then stir in 2 tablespoons of oil. Alternatively, you can blitz the stems in a blender or food processor before adding the oil. (A note: On its own, this Sweet Garleek paste is a great condiment for just about anything savory.)

Slice both the ginger and reserved green tops into matchsticks. Place a small pan over medium-high heat, then pour in the remainder of the oil. Add the julienned ginger and green tops and sauteé for about a minute, until the greens have taken on some color and the mixture is deliciously fragrant. Remove from the heat and transfer this mixture into a bowl, being sure to scrape out any residual oil along with it.

Returning to the bowl of salted Sweet Garleek stalks, drain out any of the excess liquid that’s pooled at the bottom.

In a small bowl, stir together the pounded Sweet Garleek stems; sauteéd ginger and green tops; grated daikon; gochugaru; maple syrup and stock (or water) into a bright red paste. Then put on some gloves—it’s time to mix up the kimchi, and this stuff stains!

Add the red paste to the drained Sweet Garleek stalks and thoroughly massage it into each one. You can eat this geotjeori (fresh kimchi) right away, or pack it into a jar and store in the fridge; over time, it will ferment and transform in both texture and flavor. 


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