Region of Origin

Commodity:

Radishes

Origin

Radishes are root vegetables in the Brassica family along with broccoli, cabbage, and other leafy greens. They have firm, crisp flesh that can be eaten raw or cooked. The root can vary significantly in size, shape, and color depending on variety and growing conditions. Their flavor can also range from bitter to mild to peppery, with some varieties adding spicy or nutty notes. Radishes are sold eit...

Other Names

Rettich (German), Radis (French), Rábano (Spanish)

Health Benefits & Nutrition

Radishes are a good source of calcium and vitamin C, which is found in higher concentrations in radishes with pink skins. In Chinese traditional medicine, radishes are believed to help encourage smooth-flowing energy, and clear up blockages in the circulation, digestion, and sinuses.

Varieties

Black Spanish Radish

AKA: Black Radish

Description

Black radishes are a winter type that has been grown in Europe for centuries. They have striking black skin and ivory flesh that is crisp, pungent, and spicy – much like horseradish. Typically, these radishes are round and range from three to four inches in diameter. They are typically sold topped.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Black radishes are typically used raw, diced, matchsticked or julienned, or grated to add a spicy kick to any dish. These radishes have a particularly long storage life.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Cherry Belle Radish

Description

The cherry belle radish is a type of spring/summer radish much like the typical red radish seen in the supermarket – but an heirloom variety. They are small, only 1-2” in diameter and a bright scarlet color. The flesh is white, crisp, tangy, and peppery and has an excellent crunch. They are most often shipped bunched with tops.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Cherry belles are an excellent salad radish and snacking radish.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Daikon Radish

AKA: Chinese Radish, White Radish, Luóbo (China), Lo Bok (China/Indonesia/Malaysia), Mooli (India), Moo (Korea), Rabu (Sri Lanka), Củ Cải (Vietnam)

Description

Daikon – meaning “big root” in Japanese – is a large, elongated Japanese winter radish. It is the most common variety of radish found in East and Southeast Asia. Daikon can be up to 1.5 feet long and is usually slim and tapered. The skin is a bright white that may have some green blushing. The flesh is white, juicy, and succulent. Its flavor can vary significantly depending on the weather and cultivar, but they are generally mild at first with a spicy finish. Daikon are typically shipped topped.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Daikon is exceptionally versatile. They are tangy and refreshing when used raw, crisp when pickled, and sweet when cooked. Daikon are typically peeled before use. They hold up well to just about any knife cut. Daikon is the secret behind dim sum’s famed, but confusingly named, turnip cakes.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Easter Egg Radish

Description

Easter egg radishes are actually a blend of various small red, white, and purple spring/summer radishes that are harvested at about 1-2” in diameter. These radishes have beautiful external color and bright white flesh. The spiciness varies by variety and growing conditions (hotter weather usually makes for spicier radishes). They are most often sold bunched with tops.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Easter egg radishes are an excellent salad radish and snacking radish. Their blend of colors is particularly nice when applied to a crudité selection.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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French Breakfast Radish

Description

The French breakfast is a spring/summer heirloom variety from France first introduced in 1879. While there are some hybrids today, most US-sold seed remains heirloom. The French breakfast radish is petite and scarlet on the top with a white bottom tip. They are elongated and narrow. The flesh is bright white and mild with a peppery finish. They are most often sold bunched with tops.

Variety Tips & Tricks

French breakfast radishes are often paired with butter and sea salt on bread. They make an excellent snacking and crudité radish.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Korean Radish

AKA: Joseon Radish, Mu (Korea)

Description

Korean radishes are a large winter radish variety from Korea. The look similar to daikon, but are shorter, more ovular, and much plumper. They have white, ruddy skin that fades to light green around the top. The flesh is bright white, firm, and very dense with a pungent radish flavor that should be more sweet than bitter. In Korea, the radish greens are used as a vegetable, but in the US, Korean radishes are typically shipped topped.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Korean radishes are used in a range of dishes and are especially well suited for various types of radish kimchi, like radish water kimchi, or other preserved dishes. It is traditionally used in a range of cooked applications like stir fries and soups as well.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Purple Daikon Radish

Description

Purple daikon are “mini” in size compared to normal daikon, ranging in size from approximately 3 to 5 inches long. They are oblong or rounded at the top and tapered, unlike the long, slender daikon. They have a ruddy purple skin with vibrant purple flesh that has white striations throughout. The flavor can range from mild to relatively spicy, with the spiciness concentrated in the flesh closest to the skin. They come both with tops and topped, depending on seasonal availability.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Purple daikon are gorgeous cut into thin rounds or matchsticked. Purple radishes are also very dense and can be used in cooked applications like grilling or roasting. Their color will not bleed when cut, but will leech into brine if pickled or liquid if braised.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Watermelon Radish

Description

The watermelon radish is a Chinese winter variety. This globe-shaped radish can range from golf-ball-sized to softball-sized. The skin is ruddy white, often fading to lime green on the shoulders. Occasionally the radish can develop pink skin depending on growing conditions. Inside the flesh is deep magenta with some white striations and a white rim (hence the name watermelon radish). The flavor is mild with a slight radish kick. They are shipped topped and have an excellent shelf life.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Watermelon radish have gorgeous color and are best for raw applications cut into thin rounds or matchsticked. The color will not bleed when cut, but will leech into sauces or brines over time. They do not need to be peeled, but peeling does render them milder in flavor.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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MEXICO
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Foodservice Tips

Traditional Culinary Uses

Spring or summer varieties of radishes are primarily used raw in Europe and the Americas, while winter varieties are often fermented or cooked in Asian cuisines. Radishes can be added raw to sandwiches, salads, tacos, or toasts to add a crunchy and crisp texture to the dish. In France, they are often served raw with salted butter. In Japan, grated raw daikon is a ubiquitous condiment with meat and seafood. In China, India, Korea, and Japan, radishes are often pickled or fermented, braised or simmered until very tender, or dried and re-hydrated for use in soups and salads. Winter radishes are said to be best for cooking as they are sweetest. It is becoming more popular in the Western world to roast or grill radishes.

Flavor Pairings

Arugula, Watercress, Asparagus, English Pea, Fava Bean, Snap Pea, Avocado, Carrot, Lemon, Cucumber, Mushroom, Dill, Chives, Cilantro, Soy Sauce, Kombu, Wasabi, Sea Salt, Butter, Creamy Cheese, Buttermilk, Egg, Beef, Tuna, Shrimp

How to Store & Use in the Kitchen

Radishes should be stored with a damp towel in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Before storage the tops should always be trimmed off.

 

The skin of radishes is edible, but larger Asian varieties are typically peeled before use. Smaller European varieties are not often peeled. Note that the spiciest part of a radish is near the skin, so peeling will result in a slightly milder eating experience. The flesh will dry out quickly once cut, so radishes should be cut as close to service as possible and stored in ice water to maintain crispiness.

Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking

Radish greens can be used to make a traditional French soup – or fed to rabbits.

Warehouse Storage & Handling

Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*

IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:

32°F

RECOMMENDED TEMP STORAGE ZONE:

32-39°F (Cold Storage)

SUBJECT TO CHILLING INJURY:

No

RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

95-100%

PRODUCES ETHYLENE:

Yes-Low

SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:

Yes-Low

ETHYLENE RECOMMENDATIONS:

Leaf yellowing may occur with heavy exposure to ethylene.

Quality Assessment

Radishes should be well-formed and firm with smooth skin. Bunched radishes should have relatively consistent shape and size, with greens that are free from severe yellowing or freeze damage. The flesh should be firm and uniform but juicy with no signs of desiccation.

Important Handling Notes

Radishes without tops have a superior shelf life to bunched radishes. All radishes should be stored as close to 32°F as possible without going under, as freezing temperatures can cause the radish to become water-soaked and glassy. When returned to higher temperatures after being exposed to freezing temperatures they will become soft very quickly.

Optimum Shelf Life

Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, bunched and red radishes may last 1-2 weeks, while large topped radishes may last 3-4 months.

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