Spicy Radish Toss
To be honest, my favorite way to use radishes is raw. I like their peppery crunch and add them to salads, tacos, and lots of dishes that need a little crunch.
I’m pretty sure that this was my first time of ever actually putting radishes in a hot pan.
I wanted to do something slightly different than a salad or tacos though when radishes won the poll last week. The key for me was to make sure I didn’t overcook them so their texture stayed a bit crunchy.
A stir fry seemed like the most obvious choice so I picked up a few other fresh summer veggies and tossed them together with a quick sauce.
The results were light, spicy, and still very crunchy. It really takes just minutes to toss together and makes for a filling and healthy dinner.
Spicy Radish Stir Fry
Yield: Serves 3-4.
8-16 ounces protein - tempeh, chicken, or pork work well
1 bunch radishes, sliced
1 pound sugar snap peas
3-4 scallions, sliced thin
Cooked rice, for serving (I usually do 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person)
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking
Fresh mint, for garnish
Simple stir fry sauce:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1) Whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
2) Slice of roots and stems of radishes. If green tips look good, you can save them for salads or pesto.
3) Add sliced radishes to a prep bowl with peas and sliced scallions.
4) Add oil to a large skillet or wok over high heat. Once hot, add the protein and cook until done. I like seared tempeh with mine.
5) Once protein is cooked, add sauce to the pan and allow to simmer.
6) Add veggies and cook for about a minute. Toss to combine veggies and sauce. The veggies should be warm, but still slightly crunchy.
7) Serve over rice garnished with mint.
There’s really not much prep to this dish, but it is important to do it all before you start cooking. Once the veggies hit the hot pan, you want to cook them for a very short time so you don’t want to be chopping half while the other half are turning to mush.
For the radishes, I was almost able to use fresh from my garden. One more week and I’ll have a good batch of fresh ones, but I ended up grabbing a really fun multi-colored bunch from the store.
Chop off the greens and roots from the radishes. You can use the greens in pesto. For some reason, I find radish greens don’t keep very well so it’s likely that your greens won’t be worth saving. If that’s the case just toss them (or compost).
Wash your radishes well and slice them. Keep them a bit on the thicker side (4-5 slices per radish) so they have a better chance of keeping some of their crunch after cooking.
Add these slices to a few handfuls of sugar snap peas. The sweetness of the peas and peppery flavors of the radishes works really well together.
You can’t see it but there is also some chopped scallions in my bowl at the bottom.
When I’m making stir-fries like this I always make a slightly different sauce. Basically, I just wing it and I encourage you to do the same. Without fail, my sauces always contain a bit of oil (sesame oil, veggie oil, peanut oil, etc.) some sort of vinegar (almost always rice wine vinegar), a salty/savory component (soy sauce), and something spicy (chili garlic sauce).
You can add a lot of other stuff to this basic sauce. I added some brown sugar in this case for a touch of sweetness. You could add some fish sauce to bump up the savory flavor, fresh garlic and/or ginger, fresh chilis… you get the idea.
The important part is to whisk everything together and taste it. Try to balance the sweet/savory/salty/sour flavors and you’ll be in good shape.
Some sauce recipes call for cornstarch and I like it occasionally if I want a thicker sauce. For this version though, I wanted to keep the sauce nice and light.
To really make this a full meal, you’ll want to add some sort of protein the mix. You could use diced chicken or diced pork, but I went with a package of tempeh which I just lightly seared in a few tablespoons of veggie oil over high heat.
No matter what protein you use, cook it first and make sure it is completely cooked before you continue cooking. You don’t want your veggies getting soggy while you wait for your protein to finish cooking.
Tempeh doesn’t really need to cook but I did make sure it was nicely browned on both sides (about 4 minutes per side on high heat) before finishing the recipe.
The rest of the cooking happens very quickly.
Add in the sauce that you mixed straight to the pan.
The sauce will simmer and hiss and almost immediately start to bubble. Let it cook down for about a minute and then add in all your veggies.
The veggies shouldn’t be over heat for more than 90 seconds or so. You want to warm and soften them a bit, but keep them crunchy. As they cook, toss the veggies lightly so they get well-coated with the bubbling sauce.
This was my finished dish after a quick cook over high heat.
Serve this colorful mix over your favorite rice and garnish it with fresh mint.
The mint might sound like a strange touch, but it really works well with the dish.
This is a great fast dinner that really highlights fresh summer produce available right now.
People are clearly radish fans because it received a lot of votes on Friday. Hopefully, this gives you a new idea for how to use them!