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Quick and Easy Fermented Radishes

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If you’ve tried fermented foods from the grocery store, but want to try fermenting at home, get started on building beneficial bacteria at home by trying fermented radishes. These lacto-fermented radishes are one of the most simple ferment recipes you’ll find.

sliced radishes in a jar

If you’re new to fermented foods, they can get a bad rap as smelly and a big pain to make at home, but I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case. Fermented foods are amazing for your digestive system, which is an important part of overall health.

The good bacteria they contain that adds to the flora in your gut can help boost your immune system, and that’s something we can all use. Check out this article from BBC about some of the health benefits of fermented foods. And to get started on the road of home fermenting, there’s no easier place to start than with radishes! Learning how to ferment radishes is super easy, and you’ll feel like you know what you’re doing, even if you’re just a fermenting beginner. 

What exactly is fermentation?

I’ve always enjoyed fermented foods, and this might be because of living in Germany where sauerkraut was basically a national food. Not many ten-year-olds were asking for kraut on their hot dogs down here in the south, but this girl was.

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Fermentation, though it may seem trendy right now, has been around for ages, and it’s when the carbohydrates in a food are broken down into acids, alcohol, or vinegar. This is done by microbes, and it can make digestion of certain foods much easier on the gut, as well as have a myriad of health benefits for the consumer.

The particular type of fermentation that will be taking place with our radishes is called lactic acid fermentation or lacto fermentation essentially creating radish pickles. This is the type of fermentation present when pickles (see my quick pickle recipe), kimchi, or sourdough are made. So you’ve probably been eating fermented foods all along. For a more in-depth look at fermentation, check out Eat Cultured’s article on the Basics of Fermentation

Home Fermentation Kit

A great way to start fermenting at home. It just so happened that True Leaf Market reached out to me about trying out one of their products. I’d used their company before to for good quality garden seeds for a micro greens class I was giving, so I knew I liked their products and customer service. I chose a simple fermentation kit because I’d been wanting to try fermenting at home. So it was a win-win for both of us! The $35 kit includes:

  • 3 wide-mouth fermentation lids (for wide mouth mason jars)
  • silicone rings for “sealing”
  • 3 stainless coils (for keeping your veggies beneath the brine)
  • Access to an online fermentation recipe book

This was a great deal with a five star rating that included all the fermenting tools I needed to confidently ferment at home. For another option, you could check out a Kraut Source lid which make good quality fermentation lids.

And while these kits are helpful, they’re not absolutely necessary. Without a lid that allows the carbon dioxide gas to escape, such as what the kit includes, you’d simply have to use a tight fitting lid and open the top of the jar every so often to “burp” it. You may actually find that fun!

Fermented Radishes Supplies

Fermented veggies, though they taste as though they have vinegar in them, develop that taste through the fermentation process. Vinegar itself is a product of the fermentation process as well, so consider that next time you grab that apple cider vinegar. (It’s so good for you and can also be made at home!) That being said this is a great recipe for fermenting any type of radishes. This includes larger radishes, such as daikon radishes, as well as smaller varieties, like french breakfast (one of my favorites). Here’s what you’ll need for this simple recipe:

  • 1-2 bunches of radishes (from the garden is great but store bought are totally fine. Save the radish greens for a salad!)
  • 2 cups water (I prefer filtered)
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoon salt (mineral,sea, or kosher work)
  • Clean Mason Jars
  • Fermentation lid or regular canning jar lid
  • weight or coil (or plastic lid) for holding down radishes

Fermented Radishes Recipe

  1. Begin by bringing your clean water to a boil. You can do this on the stove top, or use an electric kettle. Once water is boiling, add salt to the water if using the stove top and stir until dissolved. If using a kettle, place salt inside large glass measuring cup and add 2 cups of the hot water. Stir until all salt has dissolved. Set aside to cool.

  1. While water is cooling, prep radishes. Wash radishes and slice the fresh radishes to desired thickness. I wanted a bit of thickness to my radishes, since they were smaller radishes. I chose to cut mine about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Use your preference to determine how thinly to slice your radishes.
  2. Pack radish slices inside a clean quart jar. Pour cooled salt brine on top of your radishes. If using the True Leaf Market Fermentation Kit , place the stainless coil inside the mason jar. This keep the radishes below the brine for a more consistent ferment. If you’re not using the kit, be sure there is enough brine to cover the radishes and then use a plastic lid (think sour cream container) that can fit below the neck of your jar and keep your radishes pushed down or use a fermentation weight or a glass weight. (Since my radishes were a bit smaller, they “escaped” the coil and floated to the top, but since they were still under the brine, it was fine.)
  1. Place your fermentation kit lid firmly on the jar and seal. If you aren’t using the kit, use the jar lid that you have, but be sure to check your lid every day or so and release gas as needed. The fermentation kit lids have vents that help those gases escape on their own.
  2. Leave radishes at room temperature but out of direct sunlight for 5-7 days (I went for 7) until they are just the right tang for you! Then remove the stainless coil or plastic lid, place a regular lid on your jar, and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
jar of fermented radishes sitting on counter
Radishes fermenting on counter

Fermented Radishes FAQ

  • How long do fermented radishes last in the fridge? I tend to eat ours pretty quickly, but on average 3 to 6 months will have them tasting their best.
  • How can I eat and serve fermented radishes? The best part of making these is the eating, right? I love them simply as a side at lunch, but they are also delicious substituted for pickles or relish in chicken salad or egg salad. They can also appear on a charcuterie board or raw veggie tray.
  • Can fermented radishes be canned? For long term storage, I’d go with a traditional pickled radish recipe that will soak in brine as it stores. There’s a good recipe at Roots and Boots.
  • Can I add in herbs or seasonings to my radishes? Absolutely! Consider fresh herbs like dill or thyme or seasonings like peppercorns or onion slices. The possibilities are endless!

And that’s it! I’ve now been fermenting for more than a couple of years, and the hardest part is finding out how to do it and actually starting. So whether you want to use the Fermentation Kit or just use what you have on hand, give fermenting radishes a try. It’s a simple vegetable to being fermenting with, and they taste amazing. See my video below for my taste test of my finished fermented radishes! 

I’d love to know if you’ve tried out fermenting and how you liked it! Have a great week and happy gardening!

Yield: 1 quart jar

Quick and Easy Fermented Radishes

sliced radishes in a jar

Thinking about fermenting at home? This Easy Fermented Radishes recipe uses simple ingredients and is a great way to start fermenting.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Additional Time 5 days
Total Time 5 days 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 bunches of radishes (from the garden is great but store bought are totally fine. Save the radish greens for a salad!)
  • 2 cups water (I prefer filtered)
  • 1 1/4 Tablespoon salt (mineral,sea, or kosher work)
  • Clean Mason Jars
  • Fermentation lid or regular canning jar lid
  • weight or coil (or plastic lid) for holding down radishes

Instructions

  1. Begin by bringing your clean water to a boil. You can do this on the stove top, or use an electric kettle. Once water is boiling, add salt to the water if using the stove top and stir until dissolved. If using a kettle, place salt inside large glass measuring cup and add 2 cups of the hot water. Stir until all salt has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. While water is cooling, prep radishes. Wash radishes and slice the fresh radishes to desired thickness. I wanted a bit of thickness to my radishes, since they were smaller radishes. I chose to cut mine about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Use your preference to determine how thinly to slice your radishes.
  3. Pack radish slices inside a clean quart jar. Pour cooled salt brine on top of your radishes. If using the True Leaf Market Fermentation Kit , place the stainless coil inside the mason jar. This keep the radishes below the brine for a more consistent ferment. If you're not using the kit, be sure there is enough brine to cover the radishes and then use a plastic lid (think sour cream container) that can fit below the neck of your jar and keep your radishes pushed down or use a fermentation weight or a glass weight. (Since my radishes were a bit smaller, they "escaped" the coil and floated to the top, but since they were still under the brine, it was fine.)
  4. Place your fermentation kit lid firmly on the jar and seal. If you aren't using the kit, use the jar lid that you have, but be sure to check your lid every day or so and release gas as needed. The fermentation kit lids have vents that help those gases escape on their own.
  5. Leave radishes at room temperature but out of direct sunlight for 5-7 days (I went for 7) until they are just the right tang for you! Then remove the stainless coil or plastic lid, place a regular lid on your jar, and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

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LAURIE Alvarez

Tuesday 8th of March 2022

My daughter made some and theyve been in fridge since making for ten months are they still good?

Courtney

Tuesday 8th of March 2022

Ohh.. great question! They can last up to a year, but be sure to just check for mold or an obvious bad odor. I hope this helps!

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