12 of the best radish varieties to add texture, color, and flavor to your diet today. From well-known daikon and Cherry Belle to heirloom varieties like watermelon radishes.
While the word radish may bring a specific variety to mind, they are a very common root vegetable. There are over 100 varieties that come in several colors, shapes, and sizes – all with their own unique flavor and nutrients. From mild and earthy, to slightly sweet, and/or pungent and peppery, different kinds of radish have many enjoyable uses. This includes enjoying them raw, roasting, pickling, and more.
In this post, I’ll take you through various radish kinds you may see, including their flavor and ideas on how to use them. For more ideas, head to my post on radish recipes and how to eat radish greens.
Red radish, also called table radish or round radish, is likely what comes to mind when you think of radish. It’s a round radish with bright red skin and white flesh. They are firm and crisp, with a fairly peppery flavor and plenty of calcium.
When paired with other small radishes of different colors (purple, pink, and white), mixed bunches are sold as “Easter egg radishes“.
Uses: Enjoy this common variety of radish raw as crudites with dips, shredded into a slaw, added to salads, pickled, or sprinkled with salt. You can also sauté, roast, or grill them as a simple side dish.
Daikon radish (aka Chinese white radish or mooli radish) is a winter radish that is long and white. It has a carrot-like shape but can grow up to 18 inches long. It also has a mild, sweet flavor. Nutritionally speaking, they’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, and a rich source of vitamin C and folate.
Uses: While it’s possible to enjoy daikon radishes raw in salads or pickled, you can also add them to stir-fries, boil or bake them (in sauces, soups, or stews), steam them, or even turn them into fries. They’re particularly popular in Asian cuisine.
French Breakfast Radish
French breakfast radishes have a vibrant reddish-pink color with a white tip, are oblong, and grow between 2-4 inches long. They have a super crisp texture and a very mild peppery, slightly sweet flavor (milder than regular red salad radishes).
Uses: This versatile heirloom variety of radishes can be enjoyed as a snack with salt, with bread, or thrown into salads. Alternatively, cooking helps to bring out their sweetness when sautéed, roasted, braised, or stir-fried.
Watermelon radishes are an heirloom variety of daikon radish named for their resemblance to watermelon. They have a green-white outer skin and vibrant reddish-pink interior. Their flavor is mild and slightly sweet and peppery. Unlike other radish types, their flavor mellows as they mature.
Uses: Thanks to its gorgeous color, I love adding these radish kinds to garnish dishes like salads, buddha bowls, avocado toast, etc.
White Icicle Radish
This white heirloom radish is 5-8 inches long with an earthy, somewhat spicy/ pungent flavor and a crisp texture.
Uses: Sauté with butter or olive oil for a simple side. Alternatively, turn them into chips, or add them to soups, stews, curries, etc.
Cherry Belle Radish
Cherry Belle radishes are small, round, and bright red, with crisp white flesh and mild, slightly sweet, and spicy flavor. They are also the most popular round red radish variety, often sold at farmers’ markets with their greens attached. Plus, they take just 22 days to grow and are available almost year-round.
Uses: Use them similarly to the red radishes above, raw or cooked to add crunch and flavor.
Green Meat Radish
Green meat radishes are a sub-variety of daikon radishes with a cylindrical shape but are a fairly unique type of radish in that their flesh is green (and more cream-like at the tip). They have a crisp texture and mild, sweet, and subtly spicy/pungent flavor and are a wonderful source of folate.
Uses: Their crisp texture makes green meat radishes great for raw or cooked preparations. You can use these the same way you’d use any white/daikon radish. I particularly like them adding a crunchy texture to sandwiches, wraps, and tacos.
Black radishes, also called Spanish radishes, have a unique appearance with deep coal-black skin, white flesh, and a strong, pungent, spicy flavor. They’re also used medicinally in some places, with reported detoxifying and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Uses: The robust flavor of black Spanish radishes works best when cooked, like roasted or sautéed. However, if preferred, you can eat them raw to add flavor and texture to salads and slaws or mix them into grain salads, like a quinoa salad.
These magenta and white-tipped radishes are about an inch in diameter and crisp with a mild, earthy, and subtly sweet flavor. They are also packed with antioxidants.
Uses: These spring radishes work well in salads but also taste amazing when slow-roasted to bring out their sweet flavor. They pair particularly well with apples, cucumber, white fish, eggs, and fresh herbs like cilantro and mint.
Malaga Violet Radish
This type of radish is known for its vibrant purple-colored skin (with plenty of anthocyanin antioxidants) and white flesh with a sweet and earthy flavor rather than overly spicy/peppery. Its green leaves are also wonderfully tender, making them great for eating too!
Uses: Their rich purple makes them great for adding color (and crisp texture) to salads, enjoyed as a snack with salt, or roasted in the oven like turnips/parsnips.
White Hailstone Radish
White hailstone, also called white globe radishes, are round and white (resembling baby turnips) with a wonderfully crisp texture and juicy, mild flavor.
Uses: These super crisp radishes are perfect for enjoying raw in salads, marinated salads, slaws, as crudites, part of a cheese board, or pickled.
Helios radishes are an heirloom variety of golden radishes named after Helios, the Greek god of the sun, for their vibrant yellow skin. They also have a deliciously sweet, mild, somewhat pungent flavor.
Uses: These work well in both raw and cooked applications, including roasting with other root vegetables like beets, parsnips, and carrots or being blended into a smooth puree.
If you’re looking for the mildest radish kinds, I recommend French Breakfast or white hailstone (or Minowase daikon). For the spiciest flavor, use Spanish black radishes. Cherry Belle/Red radishes fall somewhere in the middle.
More Ingredient Guides
If you try any of these radish types, let me know how you like them in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
12 Popular Types of Radishes
- Red radish
- Daikon radish
- French breakfast radsh
- Watermelon radish
- White icicle radish
- Cherry belle radish
- Green meat radish
- Black radish
- Sparkler radish
- Malaga violet radish
- White hailstone radish
- Helios Radish
- Enjoy radishes raw as crudites with dips, shredded into a slaw, added to salads, pickled, or sprinkled with salt. You can also sauté, roast, or grill them as a simple side dish. Check the blog post for more tips!
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