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Crisp and crunchy pickled radishes are a tangy-sweet addition to tacos, burgers, meal bowls, and more—and they are super easy to make! This simple refrigerator pickling method requires no canning, so it’s pretty much fail-proof.

A canning jar of pickled radishes on a white board with peppercorns and radishes.
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While pickled cucumbers are ubiquitous here in the States (so much so that we just refer to them as pickles), in other countries, pickled radishes are THE THING.

Whether it’s a street taco in Mexico City or fried chicken in Korea, you’re likely to get pickled radishes as an accompaniment. And you know what? I am totally on board with this.

The process of pickling radishes is so easy you’ll wonder if you’re doing it wrong. (You’re not!) Just blanch the radishes, simmer the brine, and combine. 

Ingredient Note

While your mind probably immediately goes to red radishes when you think about radishes, there are all different kinds of varieties, from peppery Daikon to elegant French breakfast radishes. You can use any of them to make pickled radishes!

Save any leftovers to make these air fryer radishes.

radishes, bowls of vinegar, and herbs on a marbled board.

Sustainability Tip

Sustainability Tip

Radish greens are edible and delicious. You can eat them raw, sauteed, or incorporated into recipes like in our Instant Pot tortellini soup.

You can also freeze them if you’re not able to use them right away. Follow the instructions in our tutorial on how to freeze spinach.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.

Fill a mixing bowl with ice and water. Slice the radishes into thin coins, discarding the tops and root ends. 

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the radishes and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes.

Drain the radishes, then transfer them to the ice water bath. Let them pretend they’re in on the cold plunge trend. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes, then drain again.

two photos showing the process of blanching radishes.

Bring the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan. Once the sugar dissolves, lower the heat to a simmer.

Divide the onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes into clean jars. Add the radishes, then add dill and red bell pepper.

Pour the brine into the jars and close them. Keep them on the counter for 12 hours, then refrigerate.

a saucepan of brine being poured into a canning jar.

RECIPE VARIATIONS & OPTIONAL ADDINS

  • You can adjust the amount of sugar for sweeter or tangier radish pickles.
  • Instead of onion, try adding shallot or green onions. (If you get big bunches of green onions and spring onions from your CSA box, pickling is a great way to use them!)
  • Add sliced jalapeños for spicy pickled radishes.

HOW TO STORE

Refrigerate the radishes and use them within 3-4 weeks. As they sit in the fridge, the flavors will deepen and develop.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS RECIPE

PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES

  • A mandolin slicer can make quick work of slicing the radishes.
  • While I slice the radishes into coins, you can julienne or quarter them if you prefer. Julienned radishes are excellent for tacos and banh mi.
  • If you have pickling salt on hand, you can use that in place of the kosher salt.
  • A pickling spice mix can be used instead of the peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and dill.
  • Note that the longer you let the pickled radishes sit in the fridge, the more flavorful they’ll be. 
a forkful of radishes hovering over a jar of brined radishes.
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Pickled Radishes

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 12 hours
Total: 12 hours 20 minutes
A canning jar of pickled radishes on a white board with peppercorns and radishes.
Crisp and crunchy pickled radishes are a tangy-sweet addition to tacos, burgers, meal bowls, and more—and they are super easy to make! This simple refrigerator method requires no canning, so it’s pretty much fail-proof.

Ingredients 

  • ice
  • 16 oz radishes, thinly sliced {tops and roots removed}{yields~4 cups}
  • 1/2 cup onion {diced or sliced}
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns {divided}
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes {optional}
  • 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper {optional}
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill

Brine

Instructions 

Prep and Blanch the Radishes

  • Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and water.
    ice
  • Remove the tops and root end and carefully slice the radishes into thin coins.
    16 oz radishes, thinly sliced
  • Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Carefully add the radishes and reduce the temp to medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Drain the radishes and transfer it to the ice water for 5 minutes. Drain again.

Make the Brine

  • In a saucepan, bring water, vinegar(s), salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. Once it has boiled and the sugar has dissolved, reduce the brine to a simmer and keep hot on the stove.
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 3/4 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 3 tbsp sugar, 3 cloves garlic

Make the Pickled Radishes

  • In clean jars, evenly divide the onion, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.
    1/2 tsp black peppercorns, 1/2 cup onion, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Add the radishes to the jars. Tuck some of the dill and sliced red pepper amongst the radishes.
    4 sprigs fresh dill, 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • Pour the warm brine over the radishes, put a lid on the jars, and keep them on the counter for 12 hours.
  • Transfer jars to the fridge. Will keep for 3-4 weeks.

Notes

  1. Makes 1 quart.
  2. Optional seasonings – bay leaf, coriander, or mustard seeds.
  3. Will keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 38kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.05gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 1193mgPotassium: 150mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 6346IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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