Watermelon radishes are an heirloom variety of daikon radishes and originated in China, where they are called shinrimei. They're a root vegetable and member of the Brassica family, which also includes arugula, broccoli, and cabbage.
The watermelon radish doesn't actually taste like watermelon. Instead, the flesh, which is green around the exterior with a deep pink to bright red center, bears quite a resemblance to its namesake.
Watermelon radishes are larger than regular radishes and can range from the size of a golfball to that of a softball. They're firm and crisp with a mild taste that's a blend of slightly peppery and slightly sweet.
These pretty radishes aren't all show, they're also really delicious and versatile! Watermelon radishes can be eaten raw, pickled, or cooked. They can be braised or roasted like a turnip, or mashed like a rutabaga, though I prefer them raw since they lose their bright hue when cooked.
Similar to regular radishes, this variety does not have to be peeled before eating. Try slicing them into half-moons, making a light and light-colored dressing, and then adding black sesame seeds for "watermelon seeds." For free watermelon radish recipes, check out my food blog: tastinghawaii.com
June 16th, 2015
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