A quick Asian-style sauté of black radishes with red bell pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes, cilantro, mirin rice wine and sesame oil — this recipe would work well with other types of radishes too.
I was never a big radish fan. Even though we always have radishes in our nightly salad, if Jim didn’t like them so much, I would never think of adding them. I used to always eat them but I could have lived without them. It’s not that they’re bitter—I like bitter flavors, but radishes always left me feeling “meh.” Supermarket radishes, that is.
Then we started getting radishes in our CSA share—regular red radishes and watermelon radishes. Now, I got why people like radishes. It was like going from canned sliced black olives (aka washers) to oil-cured Moroccan olives. What a difference. Finally, flavor! And moisture!
After the run of watermelon radishes, we started getting black radishes. I had never heard of or seen black radishes. Would I like these too? Yup, I did. And I do. They remind me more of horseradish—an ingredient I love—than the other radishes but they’re not too strong. We used our weekly allotment in our salads.
But lately we’ve been getting one pound of black radishes—that’s a lot of radishes, more than we needed for salads so I looked for other ways to prepare them. I didn’t want to roast them—we’ve been overdosing on roasted roots lately. Instead I decided to sauté them. Since we were having a spicy orange-ginger Asian-style chicken one night, I added flavors to my skillet of radishes that I thought would work well with both the chicken and the radishes: sesame oil, red bell pepper (for color too), garlic, red pepper flakes, mirin rice wine (for sweetness) and cilantro.
I liked the radishes way better than the chicken—back to the drawing board on that recipe.
The next time you see black radishes (or any other type of radishes) at the farmers market, give them a chance in your sauté pan, you’ll be glad you did.
Asian-Style Black Radish Sauté
You’ll need a medium skillet, that’s it.
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 10-12 medium black radishes, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup mirin rice wine
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oils in a medium skillet. Add radishes and red bell pepper. Cook over medium heat until just crisp-tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook one minute. Deglaze pan with mirin. Once the mirin has evaporated, stir in the cilantro and serve.
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