5 BEST Korean Radish Substitutes in Recipes

Have you ever heard of Korean radish?

This delicious vegetable is a staple in Korean cuisine, but many households outside Korea are unfamiliar with this delicious ingredient.

But if you’re curious, here’s what you need to know: Korean radish can be cooked in myriad ways – from pickling to grilling, and it even makes a fabulous addition to the ubiquitous kimchi.

In addition, if you find yourself out of stock, several worthy substitutes, such as Daikon radish, turnips, red radish, and more, that can be used as replacements in your favorite dishes.

How will you use this unique root vegetable?

What is Korean Radish?

Korean radish, or mu, is a uniquely shaped root vegetable.

Its oblong shape and tapered ends give it a distinct look from any other radish variety.

Its size ranges from a foot to two feet long – even larger if grown in the right conditions.

Flavor-wise, it has a mild and slightly sweet taste that can be best appreciated raw or lightly cooked.

Texturally, it’s crunchy yet smooth enough for uniform slicing, making it an ideal ingredient for salads or pickles.

To prep for cooking, clean off any dirt and trim the edges.

Afterward, you can grate it into dishes like bibimbap or julienne into slaw recipes.

5 BEST Korean Radish Substitutes in Recipes

Look no further if you’ve been searching for a substitute for Korean radish in your favorite recipes.

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Here are the five best options to replace the crunchy vegetable without sacrificing flavor or texture:

1 – Daikon Radish

Daikon radish is quite a perplexing root vegetable.

With an appearance reminiscent of an oversized white carrot, one may not expect it to have originated in the Far East, but that is indeed the case.

Daikon has been a staple food in Korean cuisine for centuries due to its mild flavor and crunchy texture, which make it an ideal substitute for Korean radish.

When cooked, daikon takes on a sweet and delicate taste making it suitable for many dishes, yet when eaten raw, it adds a bit of crispness and zest to salads or side dishes.

For those looking to experiment with this versatile vegetable, try substituting it for Asian-style recipes calling for radishes–you will be pleasantly surprised.

2 – Red Radish

The red radish is a perplexing vegetable to become acquainted with.

Although similar in appearance to the traditional white radish, its taste, and texture diverge in remarkable ways.

The red radish has a milder flavor than its white counterpart, providing a subtle sweetness that makes it appealing to the uninitiated.

Its crunchy flesh holds the promise of aromatic ingredients when utilized in dishes, while its nutrition packs an unexpected punch – higher concentrations of Vitamin C than most other root vegetables.

Since it’s not as pungent as the much-beloved Korean radish, anyone looking for a milder flavor profile can substitute it with ease.

3 – Turnips

Turnips are a surprisingly obscure but incredibly versatile root vegetable.

Originally native to Northern and Central Europe, wide different varieties of turnips have been cultivated worldwide, from ravishing reds to pretty pinks.

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Nutritionally dense yet deliciously sweet, these unique round vegetables boast a crisp and crunchy texture that makes them perfect for varying types of recipes.

If you’re looking for a Korean radish substitute, the sweet white flesh found in your turnip provides an excellent alternative with its own unique flavor profile.

All things considered, turnips are definitely worth adding to your kitchen repertoire – sure to add zest and zing to any meal.

4 – Ponytail Radish

The Ponytail Radish, scientifically known as Raphanus sativus ‘PonyTail,’ is a type of radish—albeit with some confusing features.

It looks like a typical spherical radish, but instead of being uniform in size, the top portion has multiple bulbs similar to the shape of a ponytail—hence its name.

Its flavor is milder and much sweeter than its Korean radish counterpart, which makes it a great fit for salads and raw preparations.

Texture-wise, it has slightly tougher skin but crunchy inner flesh that can easily be sliced thinly for salads or cut into slices for vegetable dishes.

The best substitute for this mildly sweet type of radish would be a combination of red salad radishes plus smaller amounts of jicama to approximate the crunchiness.

So if you’re looking to add an interesting and flavorful veggie option to the menu, give Ponytail Radish a try.

5 – Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi, an often-overlooked member of the brassica family, is considered to be a versatile and nutritious vegetable.

With a slightly sweet taste, mild cabbage-like aroma, and crunchy texture, kohlrabi is best described as a cross between broccoli and jicama.

Generally eaten raw or cooked in stews, soups, and salads, kohlrabi can also be sliced thinly for pickling or used as a substitute for Korean radish due to its similar sweetness and shape.

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When peeled properly to expose its bulbous form beneath its gnarly, bright green exterior, it’s undeniable that kohlrabi is an underappreciated gem in the garden.


In conclusion, Korean radish is a beloved vegetable for its distinct flavor and crisp texture, but it’s not always feasible to find it in all parts of the world.

If you’re unable to get your hands on one, substitute with any of the five vegetables listed above – daikon radish, red radish, turnips, ponytail radish, and kohlrabi.

All of these vegetables will bring their own flavor profiles to the table but provide a similar texture and sweetness that Korean radish is known for.

5 BEST Korean Radish Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST Korean Radish Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 – Daikon Radish
  • 2 – Red Radish
  • 3 – Turnips
  • 4 – Ponytail Radish
  • 5 – Kohlrabi


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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