Mango Kkakdugi: A Fresh Take on Kimchi with Ripe Mangoes

Imagine diving into a dish that bursts with the vibrant flavors of ripe mangoes, mingled with the tangy, spicy kick of traditional Korean kimchi. Enter mango kkakdugi, a delightful twist on the classic kkakdugi, which typically features radish as the star. This version, however, stars succulent mangoes, turning the traditional recipe into a refreshing, summery delight.


Dive into the vibrant world of mango kkakdugi with these well-selected ingredients that will bring the freshness and zest of summer right onto your plate.

Fresh Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned

The Spicy Seasoning Mix

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Equipment Needed

To make your mango kkakdugi successfully, you’ll need a few kitchen tools that will make the preparation process smoother and ensure your kimchi turns out delicious. Here is everything you should gather before starting:

  • Cutting Board and Knife: You’ll need a sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board for dicing your mangoes, onions, and carrots into consistent pieces.
  • Large Mixing Bowl: A spacious bowl is essential for mixing your chopped ingredients with the seasonings.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure out your seasonings like sugar, salt, and Korean chili flakes, precise measuring tools are needed.
  • Gloves (Optional): When mixing the ingredients, especially with the chili flakes, using gloves can help protect your hands from stings and stains.
  • Glass Jars or Airtight Containers: After mixing, the mango kkakdugi needs to ferment. Use clean, airtight containers or jars to store it while it ferments and develops its flavors.

Preparation Steps

Mango kkakdugi requires meticulous preparation of both the fruit and the seasoning to ensure a delightful fermentation process. Let’s dive into the steps, ensuring that you have all your ingredients and tools ready.

Cleaning and Prepping the Mango

  1. Wash the Mangoes:
    Begin by thoroughly washing the ripe mangoes under cold running water to remove any surface dirt or residues.
  2. Peel the Mangoes:
    Use a sharp knife to carefully peel the mangoes. Ensure you remove only the skin while keeping as much fruit intact as possible.
  3. Cut into Cubes:
    Slice the peeled mangoes into half-inch cubes. Aim for uniformity in size to ensure even fermentation.
  4. Prepare Other Vegetables:
    Similarly, peel and finely chop the white onion and carrot. Thinly slice the green onions. Having all your vegetables prepared before you start mixing the ingredients will streamline the process.

Seasoning Mix Preparation

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients:
    In a large mixing bowl, start with the dry ingredients. Add 1 tablespoon of Korean chili flakes, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix these together thoroughly to blend the flavors.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients:
    Incorporate the wet ingredients into your chili mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of finely minced ginger, and 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. Stir the mixture vigorously to ensure all components are well combined and the sugar starts to dissolve.
  3. Mix Vegetables with Seasoning:
    Add the chopped mango, onion, carrot, and green onions to the bowl with your seasoning mix. Using gloved hands (to avoid chili irritation), mix everything together until the vegetables and mango are evenly coated with the seasoning.

This effective preparation of ingredients ensures that your mango kkakdugi will be flavor-packed and ready for the fermentation process.

Marination Process

Prepare the Mango and Vegetables

Start by ensuring your mangoes are properly washed and peeled. Cut the mangoes into cubes of approximately 1-inch size for uniform fermentation. Next, slice your white onion thinly, julienne the carrot, and chop the green onions finely. This variety in texture will contribute to the overall crunch and taste of your mango kkakdugi.

Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a separate bowl, blend together the dry seasonings to create the kimchi base. You will need 2 tablespoons of Korean chili flakes, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Mix these ingredients thoroughly to ensure the sugar and salt are evenly distributed through the chili flakes, which will help in the marination process.

Combine with Wet Ingredients

Take another bowl to prepare the wet seasoning mix. Here, combine 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 2 minced garlic cloves, and a 1-inch piece of ginger grated. Stir these ingredients well until the mixture becomes homogenous.

Marinate the Mango and Vegetables

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cut mangoes, vegetables, dry seasoning mix, and wet seasoning mix. Toss them thoroughly to ensure that each piece of mango and vegetable is evenly coated with the seasoning. The vibrant colors and aromatic spices will start mingling, releasing a delightful, tangy scent.

Set Aside for Fermentation

Once everything is mixed well, transfer the marinated mango and vegetables into a clean, airtight container. Press down gently to compact the mixture, which aids in the fermentation process, and seal the container. Leave it at room temperature for about 12 to 24 hours depending on how strong you prefer the fermentation. After this initial fermentation, store in the refrigerator to slow down the process and allow flavors to develop further. The result will be a crisp, flavorful mango kkakdugi that brings a unique twist to any meal.

Storing and Fermentation

After crafting your batch of mango kkakdugi, proper storage and fermentation are key to developing those delightfully tangy flavors.

Best Containers for Fermentation

To ensure optimal fermentation of your mango kkakdugi, choose the right container. Glass jars with airtight lids are ideal as they do not absorb odors and make it easy to monitor the fermentation process without opening the container. Ensure the jars are cleaned and sterilized before use to prevent contamination. If you prefer a traditional approach, use ceramic kimchi pots, which are specifically designed for fermenting and help maintain stable temperatures during the fermentation process.

Fermentation Duration and Conditions

The duration and conditions under which you ferment your mango kkakdugi significantly influence its flavor and texture. Typically, leave the mixture to ferment at room temperature, between 68°F to 72°F (20°C to 22°C), for 12 to 24 hours. This range allows the beneficial bacteria to thrive and start the fermentation.

After the initial room temperature fermentation, transfer your mango kkakdugi to the refrigerator. The cold environment slows down the fermentation process, allowing flavors to meld beautifully over time. It’s best to taste your kkakdugi after a few days to decide if it has reached your preferred level of fermentation. For those who enjoy a deeper, more pronounced flavor, it can be left to ferment in the refrigerator for one to two weeks before serving. Keep in mind that the longer it ferments, the stronger the flavors will become.

Serving Suggestions

Now that your mango kkakdugi has undergone its initial fermentation, it’s ready to elevate any meal with its vibrant flavor and texture. This unique kimchi variant pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes, providing a sweet and tangy twist that can refresh your palate.

Pair with Korean Staples

Enhance your typical Korean BBQ or bulgogi night by serving mango kkakdugi on the side. Its crispness and sweetness complement the savory flavors of grilled meats exquisitely. You can also scoop some atop a sizzling bowl of bibimbap for an added layer of flavor complexity.

Add to Modern Fusion Dishes

Incorporate mango kkakdugi into your tacos or wraps for a fusion meal. The juicy crunch of mango adds a refreshing twist to these dishes, making every bite more exciting. Its unique flavor profile works well with both fish and pork, adding a burst of flavor that ties all the other ingredients together.

Use as a Salad Topping

Chop the mango kkakdugi into smaller pieces and use it as a zesty topping for your salads. It pairs especially well with mixed greens, avocados, and light vinaigrette, giving your ordinary salads a punch of unique kimchi flavor.

Exploring these serving suggestions, you’ll find that mango kkakdugi is not only a delicious side dish but also a versatile ingredient that enhances a variety of meals with its lively flavors.


You’ve just discovered the vibrant world of mango kkakdugi and how it can transform your meals with its unique flavor and texture. Whether you’re looking to spice up your Korean BBQ, add a twist to your tacos, or bring a fresh zest to your salads, this mango-infused kimchi is a game-changer. Remember the key to perfect mango kkakdugi lies in careful preparation and patience during fermentation. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds will thank you!

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