The Many Health Benefits Of Cooking With A Japanese Radish
The Japanese radish is a white, carrot-shaped Asian root vegetable. It is deliciously juicy and crisp with a much milder flavor than its red relative. This winter vegetable can be cooked for significant lengths of time without losing its texture or taste. They are easily grated or sliced to add to salads and dishes or they can be enjoyed whole as well.
Similar to its related variety, the Japanese radish does not need to be peeled for preparation unless the recipe calls for it. That being said, a peeled radish is much milder in flavor than one that is unpeeled. Traditionally, all you need to do is slice the leaves and roots off and wash them under cold water. They are typically minced, grated, sliced or diced, depending on the recipe.
When purchasing a Japanese radish, it is important to make sure that it is crisp, firm and blemish-free. If the greens happen to be still attached, they should be green and fresh.
Since these are a winter variety, they last an impressive length of time. The leafy tops should be removed and then the vegetables should be placed in the refrigerator where they can remain for three to four weeks.
There seems to be endless health benefits offered from this root. They have less than 18 calories per serving so they are a perfect addition to anyone's diet. They are also rich in important enzymes that are needed to help you digest starchy foods and fatty oils.
The Japanese radish is an outstanding source of potassium, phosphorus and vitamin C and they are believed to have the same wonderful anti-cancer properties that broccoli has. Radishes are very low in carbohydrates and contain fiber, protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus and B vitamins.
This is a fabulous recipe that spreads on your favorite crackers or bread. Why settle for the same old pate or spread that you always use? This is one that is sure to impress your guests.
- ½ cup of chopped up radishes
- ¼ cup of butter
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped up fresh herbs of your choice
Wash the radishes but do not peel them and chop them up pretty fine. In a bowl, mash up the butter and herbs, add the radishes and mix well. Add a bit of salt to taste. Spread on whole grain crackers or bread.
Radish Greens Soup
Wondering what to do with all of those leafy greens attached to your roots? Here is a delicious, quick and easy soup to try when you need a break from your traditional winter varieties.
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 medium-sized potatoes
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 onion
- Tops from 2 bunches of radishes
- 1 quart of water
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
Rinse the greens and remove any damaged areas. Coarsely chop up the onion and potatoes and juice the lemon.
Heat the butter and oil in a large pot and add the potatoes and onion. Cook this for around five minutes and then add in your water, the radish tops and salt. Continue to cook this until the greens become wilted and the potatoes are soft. Stir in your lemon juice and add salt and pepper if needed.
Radish greens soup can be served hot or cold. Total preparation time is about 10 minutes with cook time averaging an additional 15 minutes.
The Japanese radish may not be a root that you are used to cooking with so a few tips may be helpful.
- The longer you cook radishes, the milder they become.
- Boil – When boiling radishes, bring the water to a boil first and then drop the radishes in. Simmer until tender which can range from 15 to 30 minutes.
- Roast – Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the sliced up radishes in seasoning and olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Cook for around 30 minutes.
- Steam – Place whole radishes in a steamer for around 10 minutes.