Food highlights:

  • Fat-free
  • Good source of fibre
  • Can be eaten raw or cooked
  • Best stored in fridge
  • low fat 0.1g 0.1%
  • low sat fat 0g 0%
  • low salt 39.0mg 0.03%
  • low sugar 2.1g 2.1%
*As guideline of daily recommended intake per 100g

Radish

Crunchy radishes are a colourful addition to salads and add a peppery kick to dishes. Radishes are a good source of vitamins C, folate and riboflavin (vitamin B2) and they contain minerals such as potassium and calcium. In Victoria, most radishes are at their peak between September and May.

What is a radish?

Sliced thinly in a salad, crispy red radishes add a splash of colour and a distinctive peppery kick of flavour. White varieties are usually cooked in Asian cuisine where they can be mixed with smoky bacon and shallow fried as delicious radish cakes or cooked in aromatic spices and blended to provide smooth bases to soups and curries.

Radishes originally grew in Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. They eventually appeared about 4000 years ago in Egypt (where they were used to make radish-seed oil) and in Greece. The English took longer to develop a taste for radishes, which became popular in the early16th century.

Exotic varieties of radishes were common in England and France in the early 19th century. The Gros Noir d'Hiver (Black radish or Black Spanish Round), which is still available today, has rough black skin, white peppery-tasting flesh and grows to about 10 cm in diameter.

Varieties

In Australia, radishes are available in different sizes and colour. Radishes have a hot, peppery taste but the intensity depends on the variety.

The most common radishes are the bright red variety. White radish (or daikon), popular in Asian cuisines, can be long and slender, short and stumpy or even almost round. This type of radish is not as hot and peppery as the red variety. Other radishes have pink, purple, white, yellow, green or black skin. The flesh of radishes is usually white but some have a coloured interior.

Why radishes are good to eat

  • Radishes are a good source of vitamins C, folate and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
  • They contain minerals such as calcium, potassium (which helps to regulate blood pressure) and manganese (involved in the regulation of brain and nerve function).
  • Radishes also contain dietary fibre, which is important for the health of your bowel.
  • Energy – 100 g of radish supplies 55 kJ.

How are they grown and harvested?

Radishes are usually grown from seeds. The plant grows best in mild temperatures and needs plenty of water. Red radish varieties are fast growing and are ready for picking three to six weeks after planting. White radish varieties take longer – around three months before they are ready for harvesting.

Harvest red radishes when they are small and young. Gently pull them from the ground or loosen the soil around them. If you leave them to mature, they will be hotter in taste and woody or spongy in texture.

White radishes can be harvested when they are large and mature. These can grow to between 35 and 40 cm long.

Choosing radishes

Choose red radishes with fresh-looking green leaves. They should be firm and bright. Avoid red or white radishes that are dry, wilted or feel spongy and those that have bruises or cuts on the skin.

How to store and keep radishes

Remove the leaves (they draw nutrients from the radishes) and store radishes in the crisper section of your fridge. Do not store radishes in plastic bags. Radishes can keep for about two weeks in the fridge.

How to use

  • Make a crunchy radish and mint salad – combine lemon juice, oil, mustard, chopped chives and mint and toss with thinly sliced radish, yellow squash and chopped celery, then garnish with finely sliced chilli.
  • Serve a simple canapé – fold chopped radishes and chives into a mixture of ricotta cheese and sour cream, then spoon onto toasted rye bread and finish with a sprinkle of paprika.
  • Dress shredded daikon, ribbons of cucumber and coriander leaves with mirin, vinegar, sesame oil and lime juice – serve alongside ocean trout marinated in soy sauce, mirin and Chinese white wine.

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel

Last updated: October 2015

Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health & Human Services shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.

Add your comment

Add your comment

Cancel
Max 2000 characters