Home Korean Ingredient Glossary Korean Radish (Mu)

Korean Radish (Mu)

by Emily
A pile of Korean radishes in a bowl. The Korean radish is green and cream-colored.

 This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for details at the bottom of this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases on this article about Korean radish in Korean cooking. I hope you enjoy learning about the Korean radish, otherwise known as mu!

What Is Korean Radish?

The Korean radish, known as ‘mu’ (무) in South Korea, is a variety of white radish with a sweet flavor and a firm, crunchy texture. It is a sturdy and stubby root vegetable with a pale green top that turns cream-colored about halfway down.

Technically, in the Korean language ‘mu’ (무),  is the generic term for all radishes. However, people usually associate this term with the Korean radish known more specifically as the ‘Joseon radish’ (조선무). When visiting South Korea, you can use both words interchangeably. 

The cultivation of radishes on the Korean peninsula started in the Three Kingdoms era. Then, the popularity continued to grow until it was considered one of the most important crops heading into the Goryeo era. Finally, now, radishes are the most cultivated crop in South Korea. 

Mu in Korean Cuisine:

As stated above, in South Korea, people refer to Korean radish as ‘mu’ (무). People consume every part of this root vegetable including the taproot and greens. Below, I list a few well-known dishes that often include this ingredient:

  • Soegogi-Muguk (쇠고기무국): Beef and Radish Soup
  • Kkakdugi (깍두기): Cubed Radish Kimchi 
  • Dongchimi (동치미): Radish Water Kimchi
Korean radish kimchi on a white plate.
Korean Radish Kimchi

Korean Radish Frequently Asked Questions:

Now that we learned about mu in Korean cuisine, I want to answer some questions you may have about this ingredient! If I do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email me at [email protected]

What Does Korean Radish Taste Like?

Korean radish tastes deliciously sweet and juicy. You will also taste some slight peppery notes. 

Where Can I Buy This Ingredient?

Unfortunately, you cannot find this ingredient in most western grocery stores. Instead, you need to shop at your local Asian grocery such as H-Mart

How Do I Properly Store Fresh Mu?

When storing your mu for any period, do not wash it. Washing perishable ingredients can cause them to go bad more quickly in the refrigerator. 

This root vegetable can last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp paper towel.

Further, you can also store them in a cool, dark place outside the refrigerator. If you do this, make sure to wrap them in something like a newspaper. 

What Is a Korean Radish Substitute?

If you cannot find a Korean radish, you can always use daikon radish instead. Though I recommend daikon as the best substitute, these two radish varieties have different tastes and textures. As I stated above, the Korean radish tastes sweet, mildly peppery, and juicy with an incredibly crunchy texture. Daikon radish tastes slightly sweet in comparison with a strong peppery aftertaste. Compared to Korean radish, daikon radish has a softer texture. 

I Hope You Enjoyed Learning About Korean Radish (Mu)!

In the end, I hope you enjoyed learning about the uses of Korean radish. If so, let me know in the comment section! 

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find recipes as well as further Korean ingredient articles on my blog. I listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by my family’s blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Korean Ingredient Articles: 

Further Carving A Journey Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email me at [email protected]. And, finally, I would love to hear from you through social media as well! You can follow me at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also started a vlog Youtube channel! Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to my blog by joining the mailing list. Let me know if you try cooking with mu (Korean radish)! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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