6 Ways to Perfectly Preserve and Pickle Radishes

Kimchee in bowl over cooking pan

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Radishes are a pungent-tasting edible root from the Brassicaceae family. Domesticated in Europe in pre-Roman times, radishes have been grown and consumed throughout the world, eaten primarily raw as a crunchy veggie topping in salads.

Radishes provide a peppery and satisfying crunch similar to cabbage. Red, white, and purple radishes are a great source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, riboflavin, and potassium. Radishes are also great as pickles and can be fermented into fiery kimchi—the spicy pickled cabbage dish known as the national dish of Korea. Whether you pickle your radishes so that they're loaded with probiotics, or give them a gentler taste with an overnight refrigerated pickle recipe, you'll enjoy the preserved transformation.

Pickled radishes are delicious on tacos, burgers, and salads. Fermented radishes can also be used in cold summer soups or as veggie crackers (with some added flavor like cheese or butter). In fact, pickled radishes are often used as a condiment in popular dishes like pad Thai. Use colorful varieties of radishes, like watermelon or cherry belle, as a treat for both your eyes and your palate.

  • 01 of 06

    Pickled Watermelon Radishes

    Watermelon Radish Pickle

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    Pickled watermelon radishes develop dramatically during fermentation, releasing a strong and pungent smell. But they are delicious and full of probiotic health benefits. They can be fermented in jars with vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Once fermented, the pickled slices taste delicious in banh mi sandwiches and whole grain bowls.

  • 02 of 06

    Radish Kimchi

    Radish Kimchi

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    Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine typically made of salted and fermented napa cabbage, daikon, and seasonings like chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood).

    Using red-skinned cherry or French breakfast radishes can add a bright color to your recipe, though other types of radishes, like the pink watermelon radishes, can also be added.

    No matter which vegetables kimchi is made with, it's loaded with probiotics—live microorganisms that provide health benefits for your digestive system. Serve radish kimchi with other Korean or other Asian-style dishes, or mix it into a bowl of rice or other cooked grains.

  • 03 of 06

    Refrigerator Pickles

    Radishes

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    If you want to make pickled radishes quickly, you can do so within one day in the fridge. To get that mild tangy flavor and terrific crunch, gather a few ingredients:

    • Vinegar
    • Water
    • Sugar (or honey)
    • Seasoning (salt, spices, herbs)

    Then, grab two clean glass pint jars with lids. You can also consider using this recipe for refrigerator pickles for baby cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, or other veggies. Make sure you don't add too much sweetness, however, as the brine should be salty. Adding dill, mint, or basil can also add a nice kick.

  • 04 of 06

    Lacto-Fermented Radishes

    Probiotic Fermented Radish Pickle

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    Radishes are often fermented in kimchi as one of the vegetables that serve peripheral roles to the main ingredient, cabbage. However, fermented radishes are tasty enough to deserve their own recipe. Plus, lacto-fermented foods like these lacto-fermented radishes are rich in probiotics. Laco-fermentation is a process that lends itself to traditional dill pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut. It simply uses salt, vegetables, and water without any canning or fancy equipment.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Korean Quick Pickles

    Traditional Korean Food, Pickled white radish
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    This Korean quick pickles recipe is ready in about 20 minutes, and the sweet and salty flavor makes it a perfect side dish. In fact, it's almost more of a salad than a pickle. This recipe can be whipped up with just four ingredients and pairs well with Korean meals and sandwiches like Korean street toast, barbecued beef (bulgogi), or egg toast (gaeran tost-u).

    For best results, use a daikon radish found in most Asian markets. The best radishes are fresh, firm, clean, and smooth.

  • 06 of 06

    Vietnamese Carrot and Radish Pickles

    Vietnamese Carrot and Radish Pickles

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    This Vietnamese carrot and radish pickles recipe balances flavors like the salty brine of pickles and the slightly sweet balance of sugar. The combination of white and orange colors from the carrots and radishes provides a visually attractive appetizer. The two different root vegetables go well with Vietnamese spring rolls, rice, and noodles.