The radish is a vegetable whose name derives from the Latin radix which means root. While the taproot portion is the most commonly eaten part of the radish, the greens are also edible. A wide variety of radishes are enjoyed which can be red, white, purple, and even black in color. Some Asian varieties have become popular in the U.S., most notably the daikon. Radishes have a high water content but offer some beneficial minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. They are also considered good blood cleansers and digestive aids. Radish greens are high in vitamins A, Bs, and C.
Keep for a couple weeks in a plastic bag or damp towel in the refrigerator. Separate greens and store separately wrapped in a damp towel in the hydrator drawer, if using.
Scrub well (but peeling is not necessary) to remove any lingering dirt. Slice or grate into salads and slaws, or toss with other vegetables in a vinaigrette or yogurt dressing. Eat whole or cut into matchsticks for dipping. Steam for 8-12 minutes and add butter, salt and pepper. Slice and mix into sautés, soups or stews. Radishes can even be eaten in a sandwich – try slices of radish with a sprinkle of salt with spinach and cheese on French or sourdough bread. Radishes are also excellent roasted, alone or with other root vegetables. Radish greens can be sautéed alone or with other vegetables, or tossed into a salad if still young and tender. Daikon can be pickled along with carrots in do chua, which is a key ingredient in bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwiches).
Pan Fried Daikon Cake
1 ½ cups grated daikon radish
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, minced
½ red onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 ½ cups vegetable oil for frying
Place the daikon in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain daikon. Stir in the garlic, onion, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, paprika, and chili garlic sauce. Mix well. Form into 8, small round patties. Pour oil into a large skillet; heat over medium heat. Fry patties in the hot oil until firm and nicely brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. (Original recipe here.)