An easy pickled watermelon radish recipe perfect for adding spice and crunch to your favorite dishes. These bright radishes benefit from a quick pickle which brings out their full flavor while toning down the bite that watermelon radishes are known for.
Watermelon radishes are one of our favorite winter veggies. We love their bright color and pungent flavor. We typically roast watermelon radishes (and yes you should try this recipe!), but every now and then we need a change. A quick pickle is the way to go. No canning required and these pickled watermelon radishes keep for a week in the fridge.
How to Make Pickled Watermelon Radishes
Because we are using a quick pickle rather than a fermentation method these pickles can be ready in under 20 minutes. However, depending on how I am planning on using them I sometimes make them several hours in advance so they can chill in the fridge.
This recipe calls for distilled white vinegar but you can use any light vinegar like rice or champagne vinegar to make pickled watermelon radishes. I have tried red wine and cider vinegar but they discolor the radishes and the color is the best part of this dish!
Seasonings can be altered to your taste. Typically, I use bay leaf and peppercorns. But you can use whole peeled garlic, coriander seeds, whole cloves or crushed red pepper. The total spices should be 1 tablespoon per pound of watermelon radishes.
Rinse your watermelon radishes well and trim the ends. Cut the radishes to your preferred shapes. I usually do rounds because I can cut them smaller later if needed. But feel free to do half rounds or matchsticks.
Push down the radishes to ensure they are completely submerged. You can add more water if necessary. Allow the watermelon radishes to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes before using.
How to Use Pickled Watermelon Radishes
While we eat watermelon radishes the most in the Winter, we find them locally all year round so we have learned to incorporate them into all sorts of dishes.
Here are some of my favorite ways to eat pickled watermelon radishes:
- On tacos, especially fish tacos
- Julienned and added to our favorite spicy coleslaw
- On a burger or grilled chicken sandwich
- With sushi or sashimi
- To jazz up a basic garden salad
- Julienned and used as a garnish on our vegan cream of celery soup
- As a garnish on a spicy Indian curry (the acid cuts through the creaminess and spicy nicely)
Pickled Watermelon Radishes
- 1 pound watermelon radishes
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
- Wash and trim both ends of the watermelon radishes. Cut the radishes into thin rounds or your desired shape. Place in a heatproof jar or bowl with the bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Heat vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small pan until the mixture comes to a boil and the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Pour the mixture over the radishes, Push the radishes down until completely submerged. Add more water if needed.
- Allow the watermelon radishes to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Pickles will keep up to a week in the fridge.