Danmuji (Golden Radish and Beet Pickle)

These crunchy daikon radish pickles add a sweet-tart crunch to the table.

Danmuji (Korean Pickled Radish)

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
4 days 2 hrs 15 mins
12 servings

Danmuji is a sweet yellow radish pickle commonly found in Korean-Chinese cuisine. It’s a crucial element in Korean gimbap, and is a favorite banchan amongst Koreans. Danmuji is also commonly enjoyed in Japanese cuisine, where it is referred to as takuan. Most of the danmuji you’ll find in grocery stores today are bright yellow from artificial food coloring. For her danmuji recipe, chef Sunny Lee skips the food coloring and uses turmeric instead to give her pickles their bright yellow color; and also includes naturally golden beets in addition to the traditional radish.  

Traditionally-made danmuji is more muted in color; it is pigmented from the drying and preserving process, where it picks up color from rice bran, persimmon skins, or dried gardenia flowers. Lee opts for a quick-pickling method, steeping turmeric-and-salt rubbed daikon radish and beets in a hot, sweet vinegar brine to make a quick danmuji pickle with notes of ginger and black pepper. Follow Lee's lead and serve it as banchan (a broad category of Korean side dishes served with a meal) or enjoy it anytime you crave a slice of sweet, crunchy pickle.


  • 1 pound daikon, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see note)

  • 1 pound golden beets, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups white vinegar

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed 

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

  • Toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Stir together daikon, beets, salt, and turmeric in a large bowl. Using gloved hands, rub turmeric and salt into radish and beets as thoroughly as possible. (The salt will draw out the vegetables’ moisture and will start to look paste-like.) Transfer radish and beets to a 2-quart heatproof, airtight container. Set aside.

  2. Bring 2 cups water, white vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, and ginger to a boil in a medium saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; carefully pour over radish and beet mixture, and stir until evenly combined. Let stand, uncovered, until cooled to room temperature, about 2 hours.

  3. Cover container; let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Transfer to refrigerator for at least 1 day or up to 2 months before serving. Serve drizzled with toasted sesame oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.


Daikon, a large white radish with a mild peppery flavor, can be found at most Asian grocery stores.

Suggested Pairing

To pair with Danmuji, Lee reaches for a glass of Alessandro Viola Note di Bianco Grillo. This more robust, skin-contact white from Scicily can hold its own next to the sweet, acidic pickle.

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