Shunkyo Radish is a part of Raphanus sativus and a member of the Brassicaceae family. They are mostly used in Japanese cuisine and they are known as an eat all vegetable meaning that they are grown for both the roots and the top leafs.
They have become a part of the US vegetable diet because of Asian community using them, but now they are bought and sold much more widely, due to the interest for heathy food and its numerous nutritional benefits.
Shunkyo Radish Trivia
- Most are produced in California and Florida
- They have a very low calorie count
- Radishes are related to wasabi
Shunkyo Radish Buying Guide
The key to choosing the best Shunkyo Radish is to know when they were picked and to make sure you buy them when they are fresh. You’ll know that they are based on their color and the overall look. They should be firm and without visible blemishes on the root of the plant, with green and fresh leafs at the top as well.
Shunkyo Radish Production & Farming in Texas
Most of the US Shunkyo Radish aren’t grown in Texas. Those that are mostly come from small gardens and restaurants that grow their own food in order to keep it fresh and organic. The process is somewhat different than growing other radishes because the timing for planting and harvesting is different as well.
They are known as one of the fastest growing radishes and that’s why they are so prevalent in use in China and Japan. The plant takes about 32 days to be fully matured and useable. They should be planted in late spring to fall in order to avoid frost problems.
The quality of the soil is the key feature to look for when planting this vegetable. Prepare fertile and well-drained soil. Sow seeds in spring after last frost or in late summer/early fall in a warm, sunny location. Avoid sowing in the hottest part of summer. Keep soil moist.
When the climate is mild or artificially made to be mild they could be sow and harvested throughout the year and used when needed. They are best picked when they are at 4 inches of length and the process for picking them is the same as it is with carrots.
They can be organically grown without almost any pesticides used and achieve the same size, shape and quality as you would expect from a fully grown radish of this variety.
This plant originates in China from where it came to Japan and became a big part of the local cuisine. It’s used there in salads and many other dishes as well, including pickling which is a common practice in many Asian cuisines. It came to the west with the minority Asian communities.
They are produced the most in those states that had such large Asian minorities. This includes California and Florida but there are other areas across the country. Lately with the foody culture becoming more prevalent, this vegetable has become more widely used.
There’s no special rules when it comes to packaging this type of radish. It looks like carrots and that’s how it can be treated in terms of handling. These radishes can be kept in bags or in sacks as well as in cardboard boxes with open tops.
The leafs at the top are also useable in cuisine and sometimes they are sprinkled with water now and then to keep them looking fresh.
Enjoying Shunkyo Radishes
They are rather easy to prepare especially if you’re not pickling them and again they can be treated as other radishes and used to replace them in the recipe that require a radish. The leafs can be cut with a sharp knife and you should simply peel them off before chopping the plant for further use.
After that, the treatment depends on what kind of dish you’re preparing and how spicy you want your food to be.
To store radishes, start by cutting of their leafs and roots. Put a damp paper towel in an ordinary plastic bag and place the radishes in a bag. That will keep the plant from rotting while it’s stored in the cold part of the fridge.
It can survive in the fridge for about a week or more if you change the towel once in a while.
It’s a versatile vegetable with a variety of different uses and here’s one of many recipes you could try out.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with coarser kosher salt, if desired.
Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.
Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.
Saves those RBCs: Radish is known to control damage to our red blood cells, and in the process also increases oxygen supply to the blood.
High on Fiber: If you eat it as part of your daily salad intake, without going overboard of course, radish also provides your system with ample roughage and fibers, therefore improving your digestion. It also regulates bile production, safeguards your liver and the gall bladder, and is great for taking care of water retention.
Guards the Heart: Radishes are a good source for anthocyanins that keep our hearts functioning properly, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Plus they are high on vitamin C, folic acid, and flavonoids too.
Controls Blood Pressure: Radish also provides your body with potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure, and keep your blood flow in control, especially if you are known to suffer from hypertension. According to Ayurveda, radish is believed to have a cooling effect on the blood.