Chinese Sweet and Sour Radishes

Radishes are a great crop. They're relatively easy, they're one of the fastest growing things on the farm, they look great at the stand, and they elicit a delightful enthusiasm from some of our customers. Until I found this recipe, however, I was always a little lukewarm on eating them. No longer. I could eat these all day. They take a little planning, with the two hour salting period, but it's totally worth it.

Sweet and Sour Radishes
From the wonderful Land of Fish and Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

2 bunches radishes
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp superfine sugar (or regular is fine)
1.5 tbsp Chinese brown rice vinegar
3/4 tsp sesame oil

Top and tail the radishes. Fold them up in a clean tea towel and pat them into a single layer underneath the cloth. Smack them with the flat side of a cleaver or rolling pin to crack them all open, without smashing them to smithereens. Put the radishes in a bowl, add the salt, and mix well. Set aside for at least two hours.

Rinse the radishes, then squeeze out as much water as possible, either by pressing them in a colander or wrapping them in a clean tea towel and squeezing it out. Put the radishes in a bowl, add the sugar and mix well. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve, then stir in the vinegar. Just before serving, stir in the sesame oil.

 For an extra visual pop, garnish with slivered chives, black sesame seeds, or whatever else you can think of!

For an extra visual pop, garnish with slivered chives, black sesame seeds, or whatever else you can think of!