Winter on the Outside, Summer on the Inside: Watermelon Radish

24 Jan
by Francine

A photo of the radishIt doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you cut it open and see its brilliant pink, you’ll know why another name for this radish is Beauty Heart Radish.

 I first encountered it when I was living in China. One day it appeared in a lettuce and carrot salad when I was eating at a neighborhood restaurant with fellow teachers.

Immediately I fell in love with its color, its crunchy texture and its subtle radish flavor. Later I had it in another salad where it was the star of the dish. 

When I saw one of these radishes for sale at our local co-op, I knew that I had to try and re-create the salad I enjoyed many times when I was living in China.

I should also mention that these can keep for awhile. (I stored one in the fridge for about a month before using it…gotta love long lasting winter vegetables.)

Watermelon Radish Salad: Chinese Style

Ingredients:A photo of the inside
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt (to taste)
  • handful of roasted peanuts
  • 3-5 green onions
  • sesame seeds (for garnish)

Using a peeler, remove the tough light green skin. It’s okay if there’s some white “rind” left on the radish. Cut the radish into small pieces and toss with a dash of salt in a bowl. Set aside.

A photo of the saladPrepare the sauce. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar in a small bowl and stir with a spoon. Taste. If it needs more of any ingredient, you can add more. (I know this might not be the best way for those of you who love to follow recipes, but you should feel confident that you can add more or less of any ingredient, depending on whether or not you like it or how much you like it.)

Dice the green onions. If you have peanuts in their shells, crack them open and remove the thin papery covering.

Pour the sauce over the radish slices and toss together with peanuts and diced green onions. Top with toasted sesame seeds for extra crunch.

This salad is served cold. It would be a great accompaniment to a stir fry. Or if you’re like me, you can just eat it will a big bowl of steamed rice.

Have you ever tried other types of radishes? Would you be willing to put a little summer in your winter?


6 Responses to “Winter on the Outside, Summer on the Inside: Watermelon Radish”

  1. Mary Jane January 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    The salad looks great. Could you fix one for supper tonight? g

  2. Eggton January 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    That’s just stunning! I like your close-up picture–it really made me think it was a watermelon.

    • realocalcooking January 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      Thanks and I agree…it’s amazing how watermelon-like a radish can be!

  3. Rachel January 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I’m sure I’ve come across this vegetable (or is it a root, or both?) at the asian groceries in Philly, but I’d NEVER guess it was so brilliant inside. WOW, the outside is so misleading! If only I had been more adventurous, how exciting it would have been to bring this home unknowingly and cut into it! Maybe I’ll try to trick Drew into it and let him have the surprise… This salad sounds awesome (minus peanuts for me!). Now I’m going to have to get my hands on one of these! Can’t wait to try it. I was surpised by a breakfast dish at Honey’s that included radishes- it was enfrijoladas. I don’t think I’ve ever seen radishes in a mexican dish, but they really added an great element.


  1. A Celebration of Local Food: Downtown Farmers' Market | Real Local Good - a mother and a daughter learn about real food, local food and cooking food - March 17, 2014

    […] It was a brisk, yet bright and breezy day to take in the sounds (local entertainment), sights (bountiful displays of vegetables and fruit), and the tempting aromas (lots of food vendors).  I got a little distracted by the beautiful fall colors at the honey table but then I snapped into focus and started filling my bag with eggs, eggplant, apples, garlic, spaghetti squash, bok choy, and watermelon radish. […]

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