Radishes are often fermented in kimchi as one of the vegetables that serve peripheral roles to the main ingredient -- cabbage. But they are tasty enough to deserve their own recipe.
In addition to being tasty, lacto-fermented foods, including these radish pickles, are rich in healthy probiotics.
- 2 cups water (filtered)
- 1 teaspoon salt (kosher or other non-iodized salt)
- 1 pound radishes (washed, stem and root ends sliced off)
- 1 small onion (peeled and cut into thin slices)
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Dissolve the salt in the filtered water. It's important to use filtered water because the chlorine and other chemicals in most municipal tap water can interfere with the fermentation process.
Slice off the leaf and root ends of the radishes. Julienne them into matchstick sized pieces, or slice into 1/8-inch rounds. A mandoline or the thin slicing blade of a food processor will make this step easier.
In a large bowl, toss the chopped radish, sliced onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pack them into a clean pint glass jar.
Pour the brine over the other ingredients. Press gently on the vegetables and spices to release any air bubbles. The brine should completely cover the other ingredients. If the food floats out of the brine, weight it with a smaller glass jar filled with water. If the vegetables are staying immersed in the brine, just cover the jar they are in loosely with a lid.
Place the jar on a small plate to catch the overflow that may happen as it starts to ferment. Leave it at room temperature for 24 - 48 hours.
Remove the lid or small jar weight and check the pickled radishes after the first 24 hours. You should start to see some bubbles and it will begin to develop a lightly sour smell (like sauerkraut, but more pungent because of the garlic).
Once you see and smell signs that the radishes are actively fermenting, transfer the jar to the door of your refrigerator. This is the warmest part of your refrigerator but still cooler than room temperature - perfect for your radishes to keep slowly fermenting.
Fermented radishes are ready to eat 1 - 2 weeks after you make them. If you plan to store them for longer than a month, move the jar to a cooler part of your refrigerator (one of the central shelves rather than the inside of the refrigerator door).
Note: If salt isn't an option for you, use the alternate method for lacto-fermentation without salt.