Watermelon radish pickles are easy to make with this simple recipe, and need only about 24 hours in the refrigerator for a perfectly flavorful crunch. Add them to your salads and bowls, or just enjoy them as a practically calorie-free, fiber-filled snack.
The recipe given here is almost completely based on formula for Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles. The result are pickles that are gently half-sour and allow the delicious flavor of the watermelon radish to shine through.
Often, I prep cucumber pickles at the same time, since I’m using the same pickling ingredients. And sometimes the two veggies are combined in the same jar, though often I keep them separate; the watermelon radish pickles need a tiny tweak of using a little more apple cider vinegar than the cucumbers.
What are watermelon radishes? Despite their name, these roots have nothing to do with watermelon, but rather, they’re an heirloom variety of daikon radish with Chinese origins. Make sure to see lots more ways to use watermelon radish.
The radish is a bit denser than cucumbers, so it needs a bit more of the tartness to permeate. But the cukes don’t suffer from having a little more vinegar, so sometimes it’s nice to pack them together.
You’ll need 4 to 6 watermelon radishes to fill a quart jar; this greatly depends on their size, which can vary quite a bit. Don’t worry, this is more art than science. As long as you fill the jar nearly to the top (you need not pack it too tightly), it will all turn out fine.
Where to buy watermelon radishes: Not long ago, these delightful radishes were a rare find in the U.S.; now many supermarkets and specialty groceries carry them. If you don’t have a local source, Melissa’s Produce is a great resource for watermelon radishes in larger quantities, as well as many other varieties of radishes.
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dill seed, 1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or several sprigs fresh dill
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (preferably raw and organic, like Bragg)
- 4 to 6 watermelon radishes, peeled and cut into half moons or quarters (enough to fill a quart jar, not too tightly)
- 2 teaspoons pickling spice
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- Combine the salt and sugar in a cup of hot water and stir until dissolved. Pour into a quart jar, then stir in the garlic, dill, and vinegar. If you'd like, add peppercorns and/or pickling spice.
- Pack the cut cucumbers into the jar, then fill nearly to the top with water, covering the cucumbers completely.
- Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. They’re usually ready in 24 hours; 48 hours is that much better if you can wait!
You can use the same liquid for another batch, though they’ll be a bit milder in flavor than the first batch. When you next make a fresh batch using this recipe, tailor the flavors to your liking — add more or less salt, sugar, garlic, and/or vinegar.
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