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How to Make Pickled Radishes

Updated on March 18, 2016

Radishes come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and flavors.

Radishes out of my garden this spring.
Radishes out of my garden this spring. | Source
4 stars from 3 ratings of Pickled Radishes!

Pickled radishes will lead you to the dark side...the world of the radish obsessed.

Canned pickled radishes topping scrambled eggs and kale.  What a great, healthy breakfast!
Canned pickled radishes topping scrambled eggs and kale. What a great, healthy breakfast! | Source

A Little About Radishes

Let's be honest. Radishes usually get a bad rap. When you buy them at the grocery store, they are small white balls of bitter plant root encased in a bright red woody and chewy covering. Not very pleasing to the pallet and a lot of people will tell you that they don't care for radishes.

Thing is, there's another side to radishes. Once you take a step into the radish world you will see that there are many different varieties, textures and flavors that can be experienced with a radish. They can be crunchy without being tough and bitter and can be prepared many different ways than just sliced and tossed on a salad for color. Radishes are food and food is good.

The Red Globe variety of radish that you see on your grocery store shelf is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to varieties available. There are hundreds if not thousands of varieties of this crazy little vegetable. I would love to sample them all but unfortunately I only have so much room in my garden every spring and fall.

Some varieties that I grow on a regular basis every year are:

  • Ladyslipper
  • French Breakfast
  • Early Scarlet Globe
  • Pink Beauty

Radishes can be grown from sowing to harvest in as little as 20 days. This amazingly fast turn around is what makes them popular in early spring gardens. They are also very easy to grow so for a beginning gardener, they are a fantastic plant to help you learn how to grow your own food.

Nutrition wise, they aren't bad. Radishes contain vitamin C, natural salt, calcium and iron. Combined with other types of foods, the radish is a flavorful, colorful root vegetable that honestly deserves a better reputation.

When you grow your own radishes, what do you do with them? I've always taken my radish harvest and made pickled radishes. It will keep in the refrigerator for quite a long time and when used as a compliment to other foods, it is absolutely to die for. I eat mine on scrambled eggs, on toast, as a topping for salads and straight out of the jar with a fork. I know, I'm obsessed but once you taste this you too will join the dark side. The world of the radish obsessed.

Cook Time for Making Pickled Radishes

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 1 quart or 2 pints or 4, 1/2 pints

Radishes in the Garden

One of our baby radish plants in the garden.  Almost done!
One of our baby radish plants in the garden. Almost done! | Source

Ingredients for Pickled Radishes

  • 1 pound fresh radishes, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 jalepeno, optional
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground

How to Make Pickled Radishes in Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Clean and get your fresh radishes ready by cutting the tops and bottom of the roots off.  Slice them as thin or as thick as you want.  Chop the garlic and onion and slice the jalapeno into thin strips, if you are using it.Fill your jars that you will be using with HOT water.  Add the vinegar, water, salt and sugar into a pan and turn the heat on.  Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.Add your onion, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes if you are using them.  Allow this to simmer for a few minutes.Dump the hot water out of the jar and put the radishes and a few of the jalapeno slices in.Start layering the radishes and the onion mixture from the pan.The first layers in this jar.I do two to three layers in the jar.Fill it until it is about 1/2" from the top.Pour the liquid from the hot pant into the jar leaving 1/2" headspace.  You may or may not have some of the liquid left over.Using a spatula or plastic knife, go around the edges to release any bubbles.  If the liquid level drops in the jar, top it off with any that is left over in the pan.  Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel to get rid of anything that may have spilled.  Since we aren't waterbath or pressure canning these, it's more for cleanliness than anything else.  Put the lid and ring on the jar.Allow the jars to cool on the counter then put them in the refrigerator.  After a week, it's ready.  The liquid may turn a pinkish color from the radishes.  Open it up and enjoy!
Clean and get your fresh radishes ready by cutting the tops and bottom of the roots off.  Slice them as thin or as thick as you want.  Chop the garlic and onion and slice the jalapeno into thin strips, if you are using it.
Clean and get your fresh radishes ready by cutting the tops and bottom of the roots off. Slice them as thin or as thick as you want. Chop the garlic and onion and slice the jalapeno into thin strips, if you are using it. | Source
Fill your jars that you will be using with HOT water.  Add the vinegar, water, salt and sugar into a pan and turn the heat on.  Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Fill your jars that you will be using with HOT water. Add the vinegar, water, salt and sugar into a pan and turn the heat on. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. | Source
Add your onion, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes if you are using them.  Allow this to simmer for a few minutes.
Add your onion, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes if you are using them. Allow this to simmer for a few minutes. | Source
Dump the hot water out of the jar and put the radishes and a few of the jalapeno slices in.
Dump the hot water out of the jar and put the radishes and a few of the jalapeno slices in. | Source
Start layering the radishes and the onion mixture from the pan.
Start layering the radishes and the onion mixture from the pan. | Source
The first layers in this jar.
The first layers in this jar. | Source
I do two to three layers in the jar.
I do two to three layers in the jar. | Source
Fill it until it is about 1/2" from the top.
Fill it until it is about 1/2" from the top. | Source
Pour the liquid from the hot pant into the jar leaving 1/2" headspace.  You may or may not have some of the liquid left over.
Pour the liquid from the hot pant into the jar leaving 1/2" headspace. You may or may not have some of the liquid left over. | Source
Using a spatula or plastic knife, go around the edges to release any bubbles.  If the liquid level drops in the jar, top it off with any that is left over in the pan.
Using a spatula or plastic knife, go around the edges to release any bubbles. If the liquid level drops in the jar, top it off with any that is left over in the pan. | Source
Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel to get rid of anything that may have spilled.  Since we aren't waterbath or pressure canning these, it's more for cleanliness than anything else.  Put the lid and ring on the jar.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel to get rid of anything that may have spilled. Since we aren't waterbath or pressure canning these, it's more for cleanliness than anything else. Put the lid and ring on the jar. | Source
Allow the jars to cool on the counter then put them in the refrigerator.  After a week, it's ready.  The liquid may turn a pinkish color from the radishes.  Open it up and enjoy!
Allow the jars to cool on the counter then put them in the refrigerator. After a week, it's ready. The liquid may turn a pinkish color from the radishes. Open it up and enjoy! | Source

How to Pickle Fresh Radishes

  1. The first thing you will want to do is wash any dirt off of the radishes. Cut the bottom part of the root off and cut the greens off the top. Radish greens are edible but we feed ours to the chickens because they LOVE them.
  2. Slice the radishes. There is no right or wrong thickness to the slices. I try to keep mine thin but thick will actually work in this recipe too.
  3. Peel the garlic and chop it up. Peel the onion and chop it up. Prepare the jalapeno by halving it and removing the seeds. Slice the jalapeno lengthwise into thin strips. Set the veggies aside.
  4. If you haven't done so yet, wash your jars and fill them with hot water. This will keep the jars ready without the risk of breaking them when you pour your pickling liquid in over the radishes.
  5. Combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a saucepan and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the garlic, onion, pepper and jalapeno to the pot along with the red pepper flakes if you have chosen to use them. Allow this to simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Dump the hot water out of the jars. Start layering your radishes with the onion and garlic from the hot pan. Be sure to add in strips of the jalapeno if you are using it. I usually do between 2 to 3 layers in my jars.
  7. Pour the hot liquid over the radishes. You may or may not have liquid left over, that's normal.
  8. Remove any air bubbles by using a spatula or plastic knife to go around the edges of the jar.
  9. Wipe the rim and cap the jar with a lid and ring screwing on until finger tight. This isn't for sealing purposes since we aren't waterbath or pressure canning these. It is too keep the rims of the jars clean.
  10. Allow the jar to sit until it is back to room temperature. After it has cooled off to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator so the flavor can develop. A couple of days is OK but a week is even better. You may notice that the liquid has turned pink! That's normal and caused by the radish skins.
  11. Open your radishes after you have waited as long as you possibly can and enjoy them.

A Few Final Thoughts on Pickled Radishes

Making these is not an exact science and you can mix and match ingredients so be brave and experiment! Everything is changeable except for the water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Here are a few things to remember with a few tips that may result in a more pleasant experience when making pickled radishes.

  • Don't touch your face after touching the jalapeno. Depending on how hot the jalapeno is that you have, this could result in some serious discomfort. I have rubbed my nose before and seriously wished I hadn't. If you forget to wash your hands and happen to rub your eye, it's REALLY painful. Take a shot glass, fill it with whole milk and tip it back on your eye and that will kill the sting instantly.
  • What to do if a jar is 1/2 full. Not a problem! Just make a mix of equal parts vinegar and water, heat it up and top the jar off.
  • Never use metal inside your jars. When getting rid of the air bubbles, be sure to use either wood or plastic, never use metal. The metal can chip the jar and the tapping on the bottom of the jar can weaken the glass. If you use metal to release air bubbles on your jars, they will break faster because they become chipped and weakened.
  • You can use store bought radishes for this recipe. Pickling store purchased radishes will work and it will take the bitter/woody taste out of them, but the home grown radishes do taste a lot better.

Home Grown Radishes

© 2014 Helena Ricketts

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    • Helena Ricketts profile image
      Author

      Helena Ricketts 2 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you so much for the kind comments. If you do try these, please come back and let me know what you think. They are delicious!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congrats on HOTD! I was waiting for how long to boil in a water bath, and see that there is none. I'm amazed! Even easier. I'll have to bookmark this to try later!

      Voted up interesting and useful.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      I like this. Very creative and I'll try this. Thank you for sharing Helena :-)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Wow, what a unique dish. I have always loved the little boogers, never thought of pickling them. Thanks, and congratulations!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I can't wait to try these! Going to pin this to my vegetable board and also share it with my followers...although since you got a well deserved HOTD award, many people should be viewing this. Congrats! Daikon radish is one that I like to use quite often. It is sweet, crunchy, keeps well...since they tend to be large, and is also good cooked.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for a neat look at making pickled radishes!

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 2 years ago from Scandinavia

      Brilliant. I've got radishes in the garden growing and this recipe sounds just right for some of them. Thanks and congratulations on your well deserved HOTD.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice hub with beautiful and explanatory pictures!

      Congrats for HOTD!

    • Anil 2 years ago

      Very good effort

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