Crunchy, tart, and slightly sweet pickled daikon radish is the perfect refreshing palate cleanser for spicy food. This super easy recipe is a beautiful flavor booster in your refrigerator to jazz up all kinds of dishes. Try this fantastic condiment on Korean fried chicken, add zest to your banh mi sandwiches, or give a refreshing kick to your grain bowls, pickled daikon radish has got you covered.
Pickled daikon radish is a marriage between two of my favorite things pickles and radishes.
Radishes are one of my favorite vegetables to grow. They come up early in the season and are a sign that summer is on its way. I’ve never grown daikon, but it’s on my list of things to try growing this summer.
Pickled vegetables are a staple flavor-boosting ingredient that I always had in my refrigerator. When I haven’t had time to prep anything for dinner or my brain has stopped working for the day, flavor boosters like pickled daikon radish make a super simple dinner taste amazing.
You can’t get more simple than a bowl of rice with a fried egg- but with a drizzle of Sriracha and pickled daikon radish on top, it can be a delicious and satisfying dinner.
What is a daikon radish?
Daikon radish, also known as winter radish or Japanese radish, are large, mild-flavored root vegetables that belong to the radish family. They have a crisp texture, similar to that of a carrot, and are often used in Asian cuisine for their refreshing taste and versatility. Daikon radishes come in various shapes and sizes, but they are most commonly oblong and white. Their subtle peppery flavor makes them an excellent candidate for pickling.
What Does Daikon Taste Like?
Daikon radishes have a mild and slightly peppery flavor with a crisp, crunchy texture. Compared to smaller red radishes, daikon radishes are much milder and less spicy. Their taste is often described as slightly sweet and refreshing, making them an ideal candidate for pickling or cooking in various dishes. The mildness of daikon radish allows it to absorb and complement the flavors of the ingredients it's paired with, making it a versatile ingredient in both salads and cooked dishes.
Health Benefits of Daikon Radish:
Daikon radishes offer a range of health benefits, making them a nutritious addition to your diet:
- One daikon radish has 60 calories, 14 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. (1)
- Low in Calories: Daikon radishes are low in calories, making them a great choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight.
- Rich in Nutrients: They are a good source of vitamin C, One radish has boasted 124% of the recommended daily value, which supports the immune system, and various B vitamins, which are important for energy production. (2)
- Digestive Health: Daikon radishes contain dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting a healthy gut. (3)
Can You Eat Daikon Radish Raw?
Yes, daikon radish is commonly consumed raw. Its crisp texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor make it an excellent addition to salads, slaws, and as a crunchy garnish in various dishes. When eaten raw, daikon radish retains its refreshing taste and provides a pleasant contrast to other ingredients.
Where do you find daikon radish?
You can find daikon radishes at most Asian markets and many well-stocked supermarkets. The Wegmans and Whole Foods near us usally have them in the produce aisle. It is usually available year-round. Look for radishes that are firm, smooth, and blemish-free. The fresher the radish, the better it will pickle, so try to choose ones with vibrant, white flesh.
What you need:
- The Pickle Brine– my standard brine recipe for quick pickles is 1 cup water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons salt. It’s what I use for Pickled Onions, Pickled Carrots, and celery.
- Turmeric– gives a distinctive yellow color and an earthly flavor.
- Garlic, Fresh Ginger, and Bay Leaf– add a subtle but nice depth of flavor.
- Red Pepper Flakes and Peppercorns– give the pickled radish a mellow spice (but not really “spicy”)
Tips Tricks and Alterations-
- Pour over the sink- When it comes time to pour the pickling liquid over the radishes it is helpful to do it in the sick so you can make sure the jar is completely filled without worrying about making a mess. Any excess liquid will land in the sink rather than all over your counter.
- Try different vinegars- I normally use apple cider vinegar because I always have it in my house. But rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and white vinegar also work well.
- Honey alternative- if you want to make your rashish pickles vegan, you can you white sugar or brown sugar. When heating the brine make sure the sugar dissolves before pouring over the radish.
- Spicy it up- If you like spicy heat add some sliced fresno or serrano chilies in will the radishes
- Warning: They smell funky! Don't be surprised or put off by the slightly funky smell they will still be super tasty paired with soy sauce or siracha flavored dishes.
How long does it take?
It only takes 15 minutes of active time and 24 hours before you can use them. Once pickled they will last a long time in the refrigerator- not that they will once you realize you want to add those tangy flavors and crunchy texture to so many asian inspired dishes.
What kind of container to pickle in?
A glass jar with a lid; this recipe works well with three 16oz mason jars or one 32oz mason jar. I like to use a mason jar, but you can use any heat-resistant airtight container.
Place the garlic, fresh ginger, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and peppercorns on the bottom of each jar.
Peel and cut the radish. You can cut the carrots into whatever shape you like. Thin sticks, round disks, or chunky cubes- you should ensure they can fit into the jars you plan to pickle in.
Bring the water, vinegar, honey, turmeric, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat.
Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the daikon radish. Make sure they are covered with pickling brine. Allow the radish to cool completely. Screw on the lids and place the cooled jars in the refrigerator. Let them sit for at least 24 hours before eating them. Their flavor will continue to improve with time.
What to eat with Pickled Daikon?
Pickled daikon radish is a simple side dish that is a delicious accompaniment to Asian dishes including Japanese, Chinese, and Korean dishes. Here are some ideas on what to serve it with:
- Korean Fried Chicken: Add a zesty crunch to your crispy chicken by serving pickled daikon radish alongside it.
- Banh Mi Sandwiches: Traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches are even better with a generous helping of pickled daikon radish.
- Grain Bowls: Liven up your grain bowls with a pop of color and flavor by incorporating these pickles.
- Stir Fry: Use pickled daikon radish as a topping or side dish for your favorite stir-fry recipes.
- Spicy Meat or Fish Dishes: Pair them with spicy dishes like bang bang salmon to balance out the heat with their refreshing tang.
Pickled daikon radish is a must-try condiment that can take your main dishes to the next level. Its sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavor profile complements a wide range of savory dishes, making it a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire.
Adding flavor boosters to your meals can transform even the most basic dish into a tantalizing culinary experience. From tangy pickled carrots to zesty mango salsa and refreshing tzatziki sauce, these easy-to-prepare condiments can elevate the flavor profile of any meal. The rich and nutty taste of walnut basil pesto can enhance the flavor of pasta, sandwiches, and salads, while the piquant rosemary vinaigrette can add depth to roasted vegetables and grilled meats. For a burst of smoky sweetness, try the roasted pepper relish, or add a refreshing twist to your salad with the lime cilantro vinaigrette or the pesto vinaigrette dressing. With these versatile and flavorful options, preparing delicious meals has never been easier.
My go-to flavor boosters are an effortless solution for preparing delicious meals in the kitchen. With a handful of sauces and spreads readily available in the refrigerator, I can whip up mouthwatering dishes with minimal planning or effort.
Whether you try pickled daikon in a traditional way with Korean bbq or creative new ways- on pizza maybe?- Please let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see more tasty meals and anything else I’m up to.
Pickled Daikon Radish
- 1 large Daikon radish
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey or sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 slice of ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- Place the red pepper flakes and peppercorns on the bottom of each jar.
- Peel and cut the radish. You can cut the carrots into whatever shape you like. Thin sticks, round disks, or chunky cubes- you should ensure they can fit into the jars you plan to pickle in.
- Bring the water, vinegar, honey, turmeric, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Pour the hot brine over the daikon radish. Make sure they are covered with brine. Allow the radish to cool completely. Screw on the lids and place the cooled jars in the refrigerator.