What do you do what your radish crop gets away from you, and the radishes get too woody to eat and start to flower? Have some patience, let them go to seed, and eat the seed pods! Radish seed pods are juicy and crunchy like fresh green beans or snap peas, with a mild peppery kick like radishes. And each radish plant will grow dozens of them! Radish crop: Take 2!
What are radish pods?
Simply put: radish pods are the house for radish seeds! The radish plant will produce dozens of them as their method for reproduction. Each seed pod, once matured, will contain one or two seeds. If you're saving the seeds to plant next year, you will allow the pods to dry out on the plant.
But if you intend to eat them, you will pick them much earlier, while they're green and firm.
How do you harvest radish seed pods?
Harvesting radish pods is easy, and much like picking beans. See the first photo below to see what the pods look like on the radish plant. I admit, I was fed up with the plants reaching all over the garden, so I just pulled them all out. You can see some flowers still on the plants! But to keep your crop going, I'd really recommend leaving them in the ground, and picking the pods off the plants.
As you pick them, fill a basket with them until you have as many as you want. Transfer them to a colander and rinse under clean water to remove any dirt, debris, or bugs (second photo below). Line a plastic container with a paper towel, and put the pods in the container with the lid closed. Store them in the refrigerator until you need them. They'll keep for a week or two.
Other ways to eat radish pods
One of the best ways to eat them is raw. They have such a delicate flavor, and are so crisp that way. Add them to tossed salads, or dip them in hummus or whatever you like! If you really want to be ironic, use the leaves to make Radish Greens Hummus to dip them in! These babies are also great on sandwiches or in wraps, and on tacos! Apparently, they're popular as a snack with beer in Germany.
Pickling the pods is also really popular. I used a slight modification of this Quick Pickled Sweet 'N' Spicy Radish Pods. I didn't have the vinegar types in the recipe, so I used what I had. I also added minced garlic. Yum!
Finally, sauteing or stir frying the pods are another great option! They are often used in Indian cuisine in curries, as well. Get creative! Radish pods would make a good stand in for snow peas or snap peas in many recipes. Get creative!
Are radish seed pods good for you?
There's not much to find about the nutritional content of radish pods. It seems they've never been officially analyzed!
But we can deduce that, being a seed pod, they are quite nutritious. Low in calories, but high in fiber. Some claim they are excellent sources of folate, potassium, and vitamin C. If we use other, similar vegetables, like snowpeas, as a guide, it's likely true. As part of the brassica family, these may also be useful in preventing cancer, as well as overall health promotion due to a high amount of phytochemicals.
How to make Citrus Charred Radish Pods
Once you have the radish pods harvested and cleaned, this recipe comes together in a snap!
Start by heating your pan over high heat. I recommend a cast iron skillet for this, because they can get really hot without hurting the pan. But use what you have. Get it HOT though! Otherwise the pods will steam and cook, instead of char.
When your pan is hot, add the oil and swirl it around to coat the pan. Use a high heat oil like grapseed or peanut oil.
Toss the pods into the pan, being careful of splatter. Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking together the rest of the ingredients.
After a few minutes, you'll see char marks on the pods. Toss them, and char another few minutes.
Now just add the sauce (carefully!), and cook for another minute. Done! Serve immediately. While you can refrigerate this and eat it later, it's best right away. You can use it as a side dish for any meat, fish, or tofu, or as a salad topping!
Now that you have the low down on these amazing little morsels, check out this recipe! And if you make Citrus Charred Radish Pods, be sure to let me know how you like it in the comments!
Citrus Charred Radish Pods
What do you do when your radish crop gets too woody and goes to seed? Harvest those pods and eat them! This is the perfect complement of peppery, tangy, and sweet, all together in one little bowl!
- 2 teaspoon Grapeseed oil (or other high-heat oil)
- 2 cups Radish Pods, cleaned and stems removed
- ½ cup 100% Orange Juice
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 2 teaspoon grated Ginger
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric
Heat an empty cast iron skillet over high heat, until very hot.
Add the oil to the pan, swirl to coat, and add the radish pods.
While the pods cook, combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and whisk.
After a few minutes, the radish pods will begin to char. Toss, and char on the other side.
Add the sauce, and cook an additional 1 minute.
Remove from the heat, and serve immediately.
*Note that nutrition facts are approximate, using snap beans as a stand-in for radish pods.