Cubed Spring Radish Kimchi and 5 Reasons to Make It

| 5/13/2015 2:57:00 PM

Tags: radishes, fermentation, food preservation, kimchi, recipes, Oregon, Kirsten K. Shockey,

Radish Kimchi 

Radishes are the red and white stars of my spring pickling classes. If you have more radishes in your garden than you can eat, or if you are just looking to try something new—I say pickle them! Not convinced? Here are five reasons radishes are to be fermented.

1. First to harvest = First to ferment. The cheery round Cherry Belle radish or the longer oblong heirloom French Breakfast radishes are harbingers of the coming garden season. I know people who hardly eat radishes but plant them just because they delight in radishes’ quick growth in the cool beginnings of the waking garden. 

2. Radishes can be your starter pickle. Never fermented before? Maybe you have been hearing the rumors of how good fermented vegetables are for you. Guess what? Now that the energy of the growing season is bringing new crisp vegetables to the market, it’s time to try. Radishes are easy to pickle or ferment, even if you’re brand new to fermenting.

3. Radishes are incredibly healthy—especially in the spring when our bodies are rousing to their warm-weather selves. Eastern medicine sees radishes as a spring tonic; you can link to a little more about that and a recipe for a Spring Radish and Fennel Ferment.  A few other radish benefits are that they help with respiration and ridding our bodies of cold symptoms. They are high in Vit. C (even higher after they are fermented.) And they are calming on the digestive system since fermented probiotic-rich foods are also soothing—it stands to reason fermented radishes are a 2-for! Indeed a good gut choice. 

4. Fermenting radishes offers variety. While we think of radishes as having strong flavors, in fermenting they act as a base to whatever flavors you can dream up. If you are a kimchi fan, you probably know most kimchi recipes contain radishes.  Did you also know they can be sliced thinly and fermented as fermented radish salad?—yup here is another plug for the radish and fennel ferment. And if you like your radishes plain, simply fermenting them in a brine gives you pickles that are cheeky little bite-sized orbs of effervescence that can be popped straight into your mouth.

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