Pickled Watermelon Radishes

There is some evidence that pickled vegetables help promote digestive health and lower cholesterol.  Health benefits aside, pickling is a really easy and delicious way of preserving the season’s bounty for months to come..


The basic ratio (Ruhlman) for a pickling brine is 20:1, that is, 20 ounces of water (filtered) to 1 ounce of kosher salt.  To this you may add antimicrobial spices such as garlic, cloves or mustard and (optionally) a little non-refined sugar.

Bring the brine to a boil then remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Mix in a few ounces of the liquid from a previous batch (if available) to intensify the flavor and color.

Pack the radishes into a clean jar and weight down (I’m using a bag of dried beans), then cover with brine and seal.

Keep at room temperature for about 1 week (or 3 days if you add whey) before transferring to the refrigerator.

While you don’t have to go through all the meticulous sterilizing that canning requires, it is important to use clean utensils and to use at least a 20:1 brine ratio.  Properly pickled, your radishes will have a ph of around 4.6 and will keep for several months.

17 thoughts on “Pickled Watermelon Radishes

    • Watermelon radishes are actually an heirloom variety of daikon. I would describe the taste as both peppery and a little sweet- very well suited to pickling.

  1. OMG those are the niftiest pickling veggies I’ve ever seen! Now I’m on the hunt for seeds – what beautiful gift! Thanks for sharing them.

    • Thanks! They turned out a little rubbery this time, unfortunately. Next time I’m going to try just pickling overnight in the refrigerator and not do the 3-day lacto process.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Ren 🙂 I’ve just grown these & want to try pickling them too – anyway in your last reply here I’m not sure what you mean by – “overnight in the refridgerator” – is this using a different to above or instead of keeping at room temp for a week before refridgerating with the above recipe??

  3. I wasn’t thrilled with the texture after leaving them out for a week, so thought I’d try going straight to the refrigerator next time. I’m guessing that it will take a couple of days at least..

  4. I just picked our first harvest, gettting ready to try the overnight in the refrigerator method…I’ll let you know how they come out.

  5. I just harveted some watermelon radishes from the garden and was going to see if I could pickle them. Thanks for the info!

    • Great! I didn’t know this at the time, but for a more crisp texture you can add a couple of pinches of decaffeinated English breakfast tea or a fresh grape leaf to the jar.

  6. You may want to peel the rind off before you pickle them as it has a tough, fibre like texture. I tasted one of mine this morning.
    Definitely a good item for pickling. I really enjoyed the flavor, but like I said the rind was very tough.

      • Can you add vinegar also? I just received some and want to pickle them. If using the refrigerator method will they still keep for several months? Thank you.

        • It’s the whey that kickstarts the lacto-fermentation process (which wouldn’t survive in the presence of vinegar). If you’d prefer to use vinegar, leave your peeled and brined pickles on the counter at room temperature for a week (longer if you want them to be more sour). Taste, adjust with a few drops of vinegar if desired and transfer to the refrigerator. Whether using whey or vinegar, be sure to store the pickles in an anaerobic environment (submerged, not exposed to the air) to retard spoilage.

          Hope that helps!

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