Fermented Radish Pickle

Fermented Radish Pickle in a jar and a bowl

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Fermentation time: 192 hrs
Total: 192 hrs 12 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 quart
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
6 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 6
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 248mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 73mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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. They are an example of a tasty, lacto-fermented food.

Special fermentation weights and airlock lids are helpful, but you can get by with household items for the occasional ferment. For weights, you can use a small 4-ounce jelly jar or a plastic food storage bag with some extra brine to weigh the food down. Special airlock lids allow gases to leave the jar without letting oxygen back in. Alternatively, you may use a regular canning jar lid—place it on the jar loosely and remove it once or twice daily to release the gases. 

Once the radishes are fermented, remove the weight, place a regular lid on the jar, and store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 months. If the fermented radishes are stored at room temperature, they will continue to ferment, and the jar could explode.

"This recipe was quick and easy. I used a food processor to slice the radishes and had everything done in about 10 minutes. I used two 1-pint jars. It's important to keep everything submerged in the brine with glass ferment weights, a mini jelly jar, or small plastic bag with extra brine." —Diana Rattray

fermenting radishes/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or other non-iodized salt

  • 2 cups filtered water

  • 1 pound radishes

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Fermented Radish Pickle ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. 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.

    Water in a measuring cup

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. 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.

    Radish slices in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. In a large bowl, toss the radish, sliced onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, if using.

    Radish, sliced onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Pack them into a sterilized 1-quart glass jar (or two 1-pint jars).

    Radish and onion mixture in a jar

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Pour the brine over the ingredients. Press gently on the vegetables and spices to release any air bubbles. The brine should completely cover the other ingredients. If the vegetables are staying immersed in the brine, just cover the jar loosely with a lid. If the vegetables float above the brine, weigh them down with a smaller glass jar filled with water.

    Radish and onion mixture in a jar with brine

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. 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 to 48 hours.

    Radish fermenting in a jar, with a jar on top

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. 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 slight sour smell (like sauerkraut, but more pungent due to the garlic).

    Fermented radish in a jar

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Once the radishes are actively fermenting, transfer the jar to the door of the refrigerator. This is the warmest part of your refrigerator but still cooler than room temperature—perfect for your radishes to continue to ferment slowly. Fermented radishes are ready to eat 1 to 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).

    Fermented Radish Pickle in a jar

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Recipe Variations

•If salt isn't an option for you, use the alternate method for lacto-fermentation without salt.

For herb flavor, add a few sprigs of fresh dill or thyme to the jar(s).

•Try other types of radishes, or a combination for variety.

How do I know when my fermented radishes are ready?

The brine will initially become cloudy, then it will become clearer when fermentation is complete, usually in about 5 to 7 days, or slightly less if room temperature is quite warm.

Do jars have to be sterilized for fermented radishes?

You don't have to sterilize the jars and equipment, but make sure your hands, jars, lids, utensils, and work surfaces are clean.