Radish Pods

Rat Tail pods

Radish Pods are the seed pods of the radish plants.  They are soft but crisp. When you bite into a pod you know you are eating a radish, and a pungent one at that, yet the flavor is more delicate and refined than that of a root radish. The texture is like that of a green bean, which adds excitement to the experience, and appeals to people (like me) who don’t crave root radishes. Pods are eaten raw or cooked. They are excellent as a snack or added to salads. They may be pickled in vinegar, or lightly stir-fried. In India they are cooked in ghee and used in curries. Pods are best when freshly picked, but may be kept chilled for a month or more. Chomped in the garden, or served at the table, they are sure to intrigue and please.

I discovered them when I had let a patch of radishes stay in the ground a little long and these huge pants with pretty flowers appeared.  

 

Then the pods made their appearance.  I wouldn’t have  thought much about them except at the time as researching recipes in  a 19th century cookbook and I saw a    reference to Radish Pods.   I wondered if that is what was growing in my garden….This was a fantastic surprise!

The Rattail radish is native to South Asia. Radish pods are historically most relevant as an ingredient in Asia and Europe. Though briefly mentioned in the book, Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets, in 1699, one of the first firmly documented recipes specifically dedicated to radish pods was published in John Farley’s The London Art of Cookery in 1789. Radish pods were introduced to the public on a grand scale during the International Horticultural Exhibition in London in 1866. As each radish plant will yield an abundance of seed pods, few plants need to be left in the ground to bolt to produce a prolific harvest of pods. Radish pods can be found in Asian markets and farmers markets throughout the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

Radish Pods have a great radish flavor, but the texture is more like green beans. They are crunchy with a strong radish flavor.    Radish Pods are filled with great nutrition too, rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.

So I know you are asking “What do I do with Radish Pods?”    

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Eat them raw –  they are great with your favorite chip dip or hummus
  • Chop them and put into salads
  • Puree them to make a sandwich spread. Just threw them into a Vitamix or food processor with some mayo, apple cider vinegar and salt. It would make a great veggie chip dip too
  • Add to an Asian Stir Fry with ginger and garlic
  • Use them in any recipe that you use snap peas

Very Versatile Asian Salad

  • Millet – about 3 cups cooked
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1.5 to 2 cups radish pods
  • Fresh ginger – about 3 T minced
  • 2-3 T sesame oil
  • 2 T flax seed oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Fresh lime juice, optional

       This type of salad can be made with many variations:

  • pasta instead of millet
  • add carrots, broccoli, or any vegetable of your choice
  • chicken instead of beef
  • add cilantro or parsley

 

Radical Radish Pod Pizza

Yield: 2 generous servings

  • 1 ball whole what pizza dough
  • 1 cup radish pods
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • ½ cup sliced zucchini
  • 6 thin slices of heirloom tomato
  • 5-6 small Crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh basil
  • ½ oz. of julienne all natural Prosciutto di Parma
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and cracked pepper to taste

Work the pizza dough ball till it stretches to a nice thin crust. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, basil and radish pods in that order. Add cheeses and distribute the Prosciutto di Parma as shown and bake in a pre-heated 500° oven for 6-8 minutes or until the bottom of the crust begins to brown. Slice and serve.

Asian Cabbage Salad With Fresh Radish Pods

      • 1 cup fresh radish pods
      • 3 cups Chinese cabbage or 3 cups green cabbage, shredded
      • 1 cup radicchio
      • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
      • 1/2 cup sliced heirloom radishes
      • 1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
      • 2 -3 tablespoons pickled ginger or 1 -1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
      • 1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
      • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
      • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili oil
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • Microgreens, for garnish

Prepare the salad dressing in a non-reactive small bowl by whisking together the oils, vinegar, & 1 T sugar.  Set aside.  In a large salad bowl combine the radish pods, cabbage, radicchio, baby corn, radishes, red onion and pickled ginger.  Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat.  Top the salad with the enoki mushrooms. Garnish with microgreens if desired.

Quick Pickled Radishespickled radish pods

  • Radish pods (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Dill (4 fronds)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Wash and pick the radish pods off of the stems. At the same time, wash the dill fronds.  Measure out the vinegar and water; add the teaspoon of kosher salt. Over high heat in a small sauce pan, bring the brine to a full boil. Once boiling, add the pods and dill, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour the brine, pods, and dill into a clean seal-able jar. Place the lid on the jar and cool on the counter for 20 minutes, and place in the refrigerator. The pickled pods should be ready to eat in 3-5 days.   They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.