In this article, I’ll be showing you 3 of the most useful ways to cut a radish and the best uses for each one.
Whether you’re cooking radishes or eating them raw in all their glory, this is the perfect ingredient to add texture, flavor, and color to a meal.
You’ll learn to make simple quarters and slices, as well as an impressive-looking julienne. Plus, I’ll share how to choose, clean, and store radishes for the best results.
In This Article
But First, Pick The Best Radishes!
While they may not look like it, radishes are in the same family (brassica) as things like cabbage, mustards, and broccoli. But unlike most of its family members, it’s the large, bulbous root that is the focus of this vegetable.
Radishes come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors and are used equally for their texture, taste, and color. In this article, we’ll focus on the more common radish varieties like globe, French breakfast, easter egg, and watermelon. All of which you can use the same cutting techniques for.
When picking out radishes at the market, look for ones that are very firm and brightly colored. Avoid radishes that are soft, slimy, or that look dry or cracked.
In some cases, you’ll find radishes with their leafy, green tops still attached. If the greens are fresh and vibrant it’s a good indicator that the radishes are in good shape as well. But in general, radishes store better with the tops detached. So remove (and save) them once you get home.
Before You Cut, Clean
Radishes grow in the dirt, and maybe it’s just me, but I find that radish bunches come with more sand and dirt than just about any other vegetable I buy.
So, before you get to cutting and eating, give your radishes and their tops a thorough rinse under cold water.
The Best Ways To Cut And Use Radishes
Thinly sliced radishes are a great addition to salads or as a topping on things like tacos and tostadas. Using radishes this way showcases the contrast between the different colored skin and center of most radishes.
Start by placing a clean radish on its side on a cutting board. The stem end should be facing your non-dominant hand and the root end facing your knife and cutting hand.
Hold the radish firmly and use your knife to remove any long, thin roots that are still attached. You can still eat this part, but it can be tough and stringy.
Continue to hold the radish in place and use your knuckles as a guide as you make additional slices through the radish.
Keeping the radish whole and cutting through from one side to the other provides the most attractive look since it maintains the colorful skin around the entire slice.
But, to make things a little easier and safer, you can make a shallow cut along one side of the radish before you begin your slices. This will make the radish more stable and less likely to wobble and roll while you make your cuts.
Julienned radishes make for an impressive-looking garnish. I particularly like using red globe radishes for this, as you get a true matchstick look with red tips and a white center.
You’ll lose some of the crunch and bite that you get from larger cuts, but it’s a great way to showcase your knife skills and add color and texture to hors d’oeuvres or other small bites.
Start by making the radish slices outlined above.
Next, make small stacks of the radish slices, 2 or 3 slices high. And to get the most consistent cuts, make each stack with slices that are similarly sized.
Finally, hold a stack in place with your non-dominant hand and make consecutive slices through the stack. The goal here is to make your cuts so that each radish matchstick is as thick as it is wide, with two red ends.
Quarters Or Halves
Choose this cut for cooked dishes like pozole or for a bit of fermentation fun in your next batch of kimchi. This is also the way to go for crudité trays or the classic combination of raw radish and good butter.
Pro Tip: For a slightly more refined look, leave a small piece of stem intact when you remove the leaves. This adds an additional pop of green color and acts as a small handle, which is great if there is any dipping involved.
For this method, hold a clean radish on its side on your cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise (root end to stem end). If the radishes are small or thin like French breakfast radishes, that might be as far as you need to go.
If your radishes are on the larger side, place each half cut side down on your board and split them in half lengthwise again to make radish quarters.
What About The Greens?
Sure, the bulby radish root is the star of the show. But, fresh radish greens are no slouch. In fact, you’ll get more nutrients from eating the tops than you will from the roots!
Just like with the rest of the radish, be sure to thoroughly wash the greens to get rid of any dirt and sand. Then, try eating them sauteed, tossed in with your favorite pasta, or use them alongside or in place of basil in your favorite pesto recipe.
Storing Cut Radishes
Like most produce, radishes are best used soon after they’re cut. Radishes can quickly dry out and become limp if stored uncovered in the fridge.
If you’ll be using your sliced or julienned radishes within a day of cutting them, you can store them submerged in cold water in a jar in the fridge. This will keep them super crisp, but you may lose a bit of their bite.
Larger pieces of radish or any that you won’t be using within a day should also be stored in an airtight container. But instead of submerging them in water, simply fold a moist paper towel and place it at the bottom of the container and try to use them within 3-4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Quarter A Radish?
Place a clean radish on a cutting board and split it in half lengthwise from stem end to root end. Then, place each half cut side down and use your knife to split each half lengthwise again.
Do You Have To Peel Radishes?
Most radish varieties have very thin skin and do not need to be peeled. One of the best things about a radish is the bright color that the skin can add to a dish.
Are Radishes Better Cooked Or Raw?
Radishes are more commonly used as a raw ingredient for their excellent crunch and color. Roasted or boiled radishes can also be delicious but you’ll lose a lot of their color and texture.