Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pickled Daikon Radish - Guamanian Style

If you like really hot and tart foods, you're going to love this recipe. I learned how to make "pickled radish," as we call it in our family, from my mother.  She rarely used recipes so I watched, learned, and memorized until I could make it on my own.  In order to post the recipe today, I had to take mental notes as I put it all together.

Coming from a Guamanian/Hispanic family, we always had some sort of spicy sauce or vegetable to go with our meals.  Salsa, pickled jalapenos, sriracha sauce, pickled radish, and finadini were staples at our table. Because my father is from Guam, we had white rice with all of our meals...even if it was a Mexican food. In those instances, my mother would make Spanish rice. Day in and day out, we ate rice, rice, rice.  As a kid, I wanted potatoes like the Anglo neighbor kids on the block but my father never budged.  So, we kids learned how to spice up the damned rice on our plates.  Enter pickled daikon radish and finadini (I'll post a delicious recipe for finadini later).

Daikon radish combined with jalapenos, white onions, and vinegar make for a delicious, crunchy, tart, and HOT accompaniment to your meal. I like to chase a piece of chicken or beef with a slice of pickled radish.  It definitely adds a bit of zing with every bite.

Ingredients for 2 jars of pickled radish:
2 pkgs of pickled daikon radishes
3 green jalapenos peppers
2 yellow chili peppers
1 medium white onion
White distilled vinegar (approximately 40 oz)

Ingredients for 1 jar of pickled radish:
1 pkg of pickled daikon radish
2 green jalapeno peppers
1 yellow chili pepper
1/2 medium white onion
White distilled vinegar (approximately 20 oz)

You won't find pickled daikon radishes at your run-of-the-mill grocery store.  It's going to take a trip to an Asian or international food market.  Here in Arizona, we have LeeLee's market.

You'll need two 32-40 oz glass jars if you have 2 radishes.  I don't recommend using plastic jars because these ingredients have very strong flavors that will penetrate whatever container they are in. I know this is a pretty big recipe but what you don't keep you can give to your friends, especially those who like hot stuff. They'll love it.

Large glass jar
Pickled daikon radish comes in various sizes and packaging.  I like to buy the kind that comes flavored with kimchi.

Take the radishes out of the package and rinse with water.  Cut the radish into approximately 1/4" slices then cut each slice into four pieces as shown below:

After you've cut the radishes, put them aside in a bowl.  Now rinse the Jalapeno peppers.

Fresh Jalapeno Peppers
Slice them as shown below.  Be careful not to touch your eyes while cutting the peppers as it will burn like hell from any contact from your hands!

Now do the same with the yellow peppers.

Take care with these babies too! They're HOT!.
Cut the onions into thin slices as shown below then cut them up further into small pieces.

Toss all the sliced peppers and onion pieces into a large bowl. Sometimes I also throw some raw bite sized pieces of cauliflower into the mixture as well because I like pickled cauliflower. My mother adds sliced carrots as well but I don't care much for sweet/tangy flavor of pickled carrots. You can experiment and add whatever suits your fancy.  If you like things less spicy, add fewer jalapenos.

Combine all the vegetables together in a large bowl.
Put combined ingredients into each jar and fill to the top with vinegar until the veggies are covered.

Put lid on jar and refrigerate for roughly 12 hours.  The longer this mixture sits, the more the spiciness and flavors of the peppers will soak into both the radish and the onions.

Since I just made the pickled radish today and it needs to "marinate," I don't have a photo of it with rice but let me assure you, it will liven up ANY meal!  Here is a nice photo of a serving suggestion. Some people put a few pieces of the radish and onion on the side with their rice but I like to pour a spoonful of the vinegar on top as well.  I also have a penchant for eating slices of the pickled radish right out of the jar because I love tart stuff.  I'll leave it up to you to decide how you want to eat it!  Enjoy. the way, if you're on a diet, this is another way to add more flavor to an otherwise boring meal. Since all the ingredients are vegetables, there are very few calories! Yay!


  1. This looks yummy and I have been looking for a recipe on pickled daikon for some time. So thank you. We will try this out.

  2. I love pickled daikon. I lived in Guam for 3 years and have never been able to find pickled daikon and kelaguen as good as it was there. I look forward to trying your recipe