This quick pickled radish recipe is ready in fifteen minutes, and the sweet and salty flavor makes it the perfect side dish. With just four ingredients, you can make this really snappy, crunchy salad that is good with Korean meals and sandwiches.
The key to this recipe is choosing the best radishes, which in this case are Daikon radishes. Daikon radishes are winter-growing radishes that are whitish in color (with green near the leaves). They are elongated, not round, in shape.
You can find Daikon radishes in most Asian markets and in some larger supermarkets that have decent produce sections. Use small Daikon radishes for the best crunch.
Choose fresh, firm radishes with a clean, smooth surface free of bumps. The whiter the radish, the better the taste—if the radish is too green, the tops may have been over-exposed to sunlight, and if the radish is too grey, it may taste bitter. Leaves on the radish should be green, not white.
Daikon radishes also are called "mu" or "moo" radishes. The best ones have a somewhat sweet flavor, without the sharpness found in particularly spicy radishes. However, if you can't find Daikon radishes locally, you can substitute other varieties of white radish, including White Icicle (a long skinny radish) and White Beauty (a small, round sweet radish).
Of course, you don't have to stick with white radishes (even though it's traditional). Instead, you can choose pink radishes (Pink Beauty is one possible variety to consider) or any of the red radish varieties (round or oblong).
When it comes to vinegar, this recipe calls for white vinegar, which you can find easily in the United States. However, white vinegar is far less common in Korea, where it's more common to find specialty vinegars such as fruit vinegars (some of these are intended to be drunk, not necessarily used in cooking).
If you can't locate plain white vinegar (which often is distilled from wheat or other grains), look for rice vinegar to use with this recipe.
Combining the radishes, sugar, salt, and vinegar gives you a really snappy salad or condiment you can serve alongside almost anything.
If you need to adjust for serving size, or if you have very large or small radishes, use a ratio of 1:1:1 for salt, sugar, and vinegar to the amount of radish you have.