Korean radish
SpeciesR. raphanistrum
SubspeciesR. raphanistrum subsp. sativus
Cultivar groupWhite radish
CultivarMu / Korean radish
Korean name
Revised Romanizationmu

Mu or Korean radish is a variety of white radish with a firm crunchy texture.[1]

Although mu () is also a generic term for radishes in Korean, the word is usually used in its narrow sense, referring to the white radish, or more specifically Korean radish (조선무, Joseon-mu). Korean radishes are generally short, stout, and sturdy, and have a pale green shade halfway down from the top. They also have a strong flavour, dense flesh and soft leaves. The greens of Korean radishes are called mucheong (무청) and are used as a vegetable in various dishes.


Korean radishes, like other radishes, are an annual or biennial crop grown for the taproots. The rotund cylindrical roots weigh about 800 grams (28 oz), being approximately 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long with their diameter around 7–8 centimetres (2.8–3.1 in).[2] The flesh of Korean radishes harvested timely is crisp, peppery and sweet.

The upper part of the roots are subterranean stems, from which the long ovate leaves grow. The pinnate leaves with enlarged terminal lobe and smaller lateral lobes are arranged in a rosette.[2] The white to light purple flowers are borne on a racemose inflorescence from April to May.[2] Petals are twice as long as the calyx lobes, which are around 7 millimetres (0.28 in).[2] There is a pistillum and tetradynamous stamen.[2] The fruits are small pods around 4–6 centimetres (1.6–2.4 in), with hard shells and reddish-brown seeds.[2]


Cultivation of radishes in Korea started in the Three Kingdoms era, and the crop was considered one of the most important in the Goryeo era.[3] In 2015, radish is the most widely cultivated crop in South Korea, with a cultivation area of 70,000 hectares (170,000 acres) and an annual yield of 4.5 million tons.[4] Korean radishes take about 3 months to grow. If properly cellar-stored in the unfrozen ground, the radishes harvested in autumn can be preserved until the spring.[2]

Culinary use

Every part of the plant is used, from the taproot to the greens. It is an essential ingredient in soups, stews, and also for making a base broth for various dishes.[5]



See also


  1. ^ "Korean radish : Substitutes, Ingredients, Equivalents". GourmetSleuth. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "무" [radish]. Korea Biodiversity Information System (in Korean). Korea National Arboretum. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  3. ^ "무" [radish]. Encyclopedia of Korean Culture (in Korean). Academy of Korean Studies. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  4. ^ "채소생산량(근채류)" [vegetable yields(root vegetables)]. KOSIS – Korean Statistical Information Service (in Korean). Statistics Korea. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  5. ^ Kim, Jin-young (11 June 2016). "Mu: vegetable for all seasons". Koreana. Korea Foundation. Retrieved 27 December 2016.