The black radish is one seriously intense veggie. It starts with a thin black skin covering a pure white flesh on the inside, which is full of crunch and water. The flavor is where things get real. Like a mix of radish, turnip, and horseradish, this vegetable is not joking. If you think you can handle the pungent heat, bite into one raw—but be warned, you’ll feel the fury of its power shooting up your sinus passages within seconds.
It’s true, raw black radish is not for the faint of heart. But that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Like other radishes, the black radish is incredibly effective at clearing the sinuses and cleansing the liver. Its seed is used prolifically in holistic medicine as a tonic for colds, immune and respiratory ailments, and more. Again, this is one serious vegetable. So it’s worth getting around the extraordinary pungency of its spice.
One option is to julienne the vegetable up very finely and use it in a fresh slaw. Commonly served in Asian cuisines, this type of slaw might be dressed with rice vinegar, shoyu, sesame oil, and honey. Or in Parisian cuisine, where the vegetable is incredible common, the slaw may be dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. If you go the slaw route, plan to let your salad mixture hang out in the fridge overnight; the time will allow the intensity of the radishes to mellow out a bit.
If you’re still afraid of the kick in the face black radishes might give you, try a totally different route: cooking the heck out of them. In a popular recipe for black radish chips, the vegetables are sliced into very thin rounds, then roasted in olive oil and sea salt until golden and crinkly. This method yields seriously delicious potato-free chips. The radish slices remain just the smallest hint of sweetness and spice, making these a snackable veggie with great flavor.
Here’s how to try the roasted black radish chips at home:
Black Radish Chips
- 1 pound black radishes, scrubbed, sliced thinly
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss radishes with olive oil and salt in a large bowl. Arrange evenly on a large baking sheet.
- Roast until just browned and crinkled around the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.