A very long time ago (we’re talking thousands of years), radishes were grown for the first time in Ancient Egypt. In fact, it was so long ago, that their cultivation actually pre-dated the pyramids. But this crop had serious staying power—despite the fact they’ve been around for centuries, radishes are still incredibly popular today. Around the world, they’re enjoyed in everything from salads to stir fries to curries and stews. But what is a radish? And what are the different types available? We’re here to answer your questions. Plus, we have, of course, also compiled our favorite vegan recipes to make with this tasty vegetable. 

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What is a radish?

Known for their satisfyingly crunchy texture and slightly peppery flavor, radishes are a group of root vegetables. They vary in color, but some of the most common varieties are red, white, or purple. And they also come in different shapes; they can be small and round, or long and thin.

Radish nutrition

Radishes are an incredibly healthy ingredient to add to your diet. Not only are they rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium, and iron, but they’re also a good source of antioxidants, which are molecules that help to tackle cell damage in the body. 

That said, some people should be wary of eating too many radishes. “Eating significant amounts of radishes may interfere with hormone production in your thyroid if you have an iodine deficiency,” notes Jabeen Begum, MD for WedMD. “So, it’s best to eat radishes, and other cruciferous vegetables, in moderation.”


Different types of radish

There are many, many different types of radish out there. Honestly, if we tried to name them all, we’d be here all day and then some. But to help you out next time you’re radish shopping, here’s a little bit more about some of the most common and popular varieties on the market.

1 Table radish

Table radishes are one of the most common types of radishes on the market. And, for many of us, they’re likely what we imagine when we think “radish.” They have bright red skin and white flesh, and they’re small and round. They’re often served sliced in salads, but can also be grilled or roasted.  


2 Daikon long white

Particularly popular in Japanese cuisine, daikon long white radishes are (surprise!) long and white. They kind of look like potatoes, but the flavor is sweet and the texture is crunchy. They’re often referred to as winter radishes, because, quite simply, they thrive when they’re planted during the colder months of the year. 

3 French breakfast

French breakfast radishes are kind of like a mix of the long white and the table radish. They have a mild flavor, and while their tops are red like the table radish, their bottoms are often white like the daikon. They’re also longer in shape, but not as long as daikon white radishes. As you might have guessed from the name, these radishes were first cultivated in France. 


4 Watermelon

With a lovely sweet, peppery flavor, watermelon radishes are descendants of the daikon long white variety. They get their name not from their texture or taste, but from their appearance. When you cut them open, they are a vibrant pink shade, just like a watermelon. 

5 Black Spanish

While many radishes are red or white, some of them, like the black Spanish variety, are jet black. These radishes also grow in the winter months and are known for having a sharper, more bitter taste than other radishes. 

Vegan recipes with radish

Want to cook with radish? Your options are endless. This versatile vegetable can be baked, roasted, sautéed, braised, grilled, and even consumed totally raw. (And honestly, if you want that super satisfying crunch when you bite into a radish, it’s best not to cook them at all!) 

If you’ve bought some radishes from the store or farmers’ market (or even grown them yourself if you’re green-fingered!), here are some of our top suggestions of what to do with these crispy, crunchy versatile root vegetable. 

VegNews.VeganChineseTurnipPastryVian Lau

1 Vegan Chinese Turnip Pastry

Chinese turnip pastry, which is also often called Chinese turnip cake, is often served as part of dim sum. The filling, which is wrapped in a deliciously crispy coating, consists of long shreds of daikon radish, which is combined with salt, sugar, pepper, and vegan chicken seasoning.  
Check it out

VegNews.IndianRoastedCauliflower.VeganRicha.SlideshowVegan Richa

2 Roasted Cauliflower with Safflower & Radishes

If you want a tasty, nutritious meal, but you’re not interested in standing over the hob for ages, then one solution is to marinate and roast your vegetables. All you need to do is stick them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Easy peasy, healthy, and delicious.
Check it out

VegNews.FennelSaladAlejandra Schrader

3 Vegan Shaved Fennel and Pink Grapefruit Salad

Combine fennel with celery, radishes, shallots, and grapefruit for a crunchy, crispy salad that’s bursting with goodness. Up the flavor by making your own cooling, cashew yogurt dressing. 
Check it out

VegNews.CrispyRice1Bri Beaudoin

4 Vegan Crispy Rice Salad

When you’re adding radishes to a salad, you can slice them and chuck them in as they are, sure. But if you’re looking for a bit more heat, why not make spicy chili-infused pickled radishes instead? Finish with a tangy lime dressing for the ultimate mesh of flavors. 
Check it out

VegNews.SearedWatermelonNicoiseSalad.FeatureHannah Kaminsky

5 Seared Watermelon Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad comes from Nice, a city on the French Riviera. It’s often served with tuna and hard-boiled eggs, but you can make it deliciously vegan by combining Niçoise olives with watermelon, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumber instead. 
Check it out

VegNews.PozoleAlejandra Graf

6 Vegan Mexican Pozole

Mexican pozole usually calls for meat, like pork or chicken, but oyster mushrooms work incredibly well as a plant-based replacement. When ready, serve with a traditional garnish of radish, lettuce, onion, oregano, and a little bit of lime juice. 
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VegNews.RainbowSaladJulieanna Hever

7 Vegan Japanese-Inspired Rainbow Salad

Daikon radishes are one of the stars of this vibrant, colorful, and nutritious Japanese-inspired salad, which also features wasabi edamame, red cabbage, and grape tomatoes. For an added boost of flavor, make your own carrot-ginger dressing.
Check it out

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