What is watermelon radish?
Watermelon radishis easily identified by its colorful appearance. On its exterior, a watermelon radish looks a lot like a white radish or turnip. The bulb is white or light green and has leafy green stalks sprouting from the radish top. Once you cut into it, however, you’re greeted by a vibrant fuchsia center with a light green outer ring. The interior resembles the hues of a watermelon, which is where the watermelon radish gets its name from.
Watermelon radish on a flavor scale is quite mild. It has a subtle hint of sweetness and yet is also slightly peppery in taste.
If you’re looking to add some ‘crunch’ to a dish, watermelon radish is a great addition. If you’re seeking to elevate your plating, the appearance of watermelon radish is sure to add some artistic and aesthetic flair.
Where does watermelon radish originate from?
Watermelon radish originates from China. This colorful radish stems from the daikon radish family. In China, it is referred to as a “shinrimei” or “xin li mei,” which is loosely translated to mean “in one’s heart, it is beautiful.” The name fits the radish because its outer exterior is quite bland, but once you cut into the radish, you see its beautiful center filled with radiant colors.
What is the nutritional value of watermelon radish?
One standard watermelon radish contains:
- 61 calories
- 0.9g of total fat (1% of Daily Value (DV))
- 46mg of sodium (2% of DV)
- 1017mg of potassium (29% of DV)
- 12g of carbohydrates (4% of DV)
- 5.7g of fiber (23% of DV)
- 12g of total carbohydrates (4% of DV)
- 90% of vitamin C
- 4.7% of calcium
- 3% of iron
Watermelon radish is an outstanding source of potassium. When someone is low in potassium, they may cramp or feel weak. Potassium assists in fluid balance, muscle contraction, and nerve signals. Watermelon radish provides a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in developing and maintaining a strong immune system.
How is watermelon radish grown?
Plant watermelon radish seeds during the middle of summer to prepare for a fall harvest. Towards the end of their growing season when the temperatures start to cool, watermelon radish will increase in size and become sweeter in flavor.
Watermelon radish takes slightly longer to grow and mature in comparison to other radish varieties. Watermelon radish typically takes around 65 days to harvest. Plant your seeds in rich soil, and be sure to sow your seeds in rows about six inches apart, so your radishes have room to grow. Ensure you have consistent irrigation in place to allow your radishes to thrive. The size of watermelon radishes will vary. However, most will be around 2-4 inches.
When is watermelon radish in season?
Watermelon radish is available throughout the year; however, they are typically in their peak season during the fall, which is why they are often referred to as fall or winter radishes.
What should I look for when buying watermelon radish?
Whenshopping for watermelon radish, choose ones that are firm and heavy. Avoid selecting radishes that feel ‘spongy’ when squeezed. Check the exterior skin to make sure there are no blemishes, cuts, or discoloration.
If you are buying watermelon radish with the greens attached, choose ones that are dark green in color and leafy. Avoid watermelon radish with discolored or wilted stems.
Watermelon radish is growing in popularity. However, you may need to seek watermelon radish at a local farmer’s market, specialty food store, or delivery service. If you are looking to have your groceries conveniently delivered, you can easily shop for watermelon radish and more viaInstacart. After adding a product to your cart, use the “Instructions” option to notify your Instacart shopper about any preferences or specific directions on how to choose the best products.
How to store watermelon radish
Because watermelon radish is considered a winter radish and thrives best in cooler temperatures, store your radish in a cool place. The crisper drawer of your fridge will store a whole watermelon radish for a few weeks. If you only use a part of your watermelon radish, store the remainder of your item in a plastic bag or container.
How to tell if watermelon radish is bad
Watermelon radishes may have a few blemishes on the surface even when ripe, however, if you notice any blackened spots, molding, or wrinkled skin, these are a few signs that you need to replace your watermelon radish with a fresh batch.
What can I substitute for watermelon radish?
Watermelon radish can easily be substituted withother radish varietieslike daikon radish, red radish, Korean radish, or black Spanish radish. If you are looking for an item outside of radishes, try incorporating carrots, turnips, or jicama, which all provide a similar crunch. View otherroot vegetablesfor substitutes.
Beetscan also be a substitute for watermelon radish. Although beets won’t necessarily have the crunch of radish, the taste is mild, earthy, and slightly sweet, like watermelon radish. Beets also come in a variety of colors that can offer a touch of brightness to your dish.
Start cooking with watermelon radish
Watermelon radish can be eaten raw, pickled, roasted, or fried. You can easily chop or shave watermelon radish to your salads, display it front and center on an open-face sandwich, orroasted with a rosemary brown butter sauce. If you’re looking for a different and healthier alternative to regular chips, you can also try tossing some thinly sliced watermelon radish in the fryer to makewatermelon radish chips. Try adding watermelon radish to your next culinary adventure by picking up some at your local grocery store or having your groceries conveniently delivered via Instacart.
Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America, partnering with more than 750 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from more than 70,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.