Have you heard about Watermelon Radish, the colorful root veggie that’s quickly becoming popular in trendy recipes?
It has a mild peppery flavor, making it an interesting and unique alternative to standard vegetables.
Unfortunately, because of its limited availability, sometimes sourcing it can be difficult.
But don’t worry – there are plenty of great options when you want to substitute this amazing vegetable.
In this article we’ll look at how to cook and use watermelon radish as well as the five best substitutes – so read on if you’re perplexed by this ingredient.
What is Watermelon Radish?
Watermelon Radish is a type of winter vegetable native to China, and it is related to the daikon radish.
This visually stunning root vegetable is the perfect colors of white, light green, and deep pink.
Its taste closely resembles that of the more commonly known radish, though it packs quite a bit more punch.
It has a crisp texture, making it quite delicious in cold salads and slaws, as well as cooked with other vegetables.
When cooked, its skin softens yet maintains a crunchy bite, releasing its pleasant peppery flavor.
If you’re looking for something new to add to your cooking repertoire, watermelon radish is a great choice.
Add it raw with some feta, mint, and lemon juice, or roast this veggie with garlic and thyme for a vibrant side dish.
The 5 BEST Substitutes for Watermelon Radish
If you are looking for a unique and delicious vegetable to add to your meals, watermelon radish is an option worth considering.
Its light green outer skin, deep magenta inner flesh, and creamy texture make it an extremely flavor-packed addition to any plate.
But what if you’re not feeling so daring today? If this is the case, here are five excellent alternatives to watermelon radish that can bring just as much flavor and texture to your meals.
1 – Daikon Radish
Daikon radish is a crunchy root vegetable that has been enjoyed in many Asian cuisines for centuries.
It imparts an interesting flavor to dishes that can go from sweet and mild to spicy, depending on the dish or recipe.
The texture of daikon radish is very different from other types of radish, and even other root vegetables, as it has a crispy layer inside and a fibrous-like skin.
When compared to watermelon radish, however, its color is much paler – usually white or pale yellow – so if you are looking for something similar in terms of texture but with more color appeal, daikon makes a great substitute.
2 – Red Radish
Red radish is a crunchy, earthy root vegetable that adds a nice flavor to many dishes.
The sharp yet sweet flavor often gives off a burstiness when first tasted.
It looks like the everyday radish with its round shape and long size, but it has a distinguished deep red color in comparison to the bright pink of ordinary radishes.
It is easy to tell that the red type is more intense in taste.
The flesh has a hint of spiciness that lingers on the tongue, making it an excellent addition to meats, salads, soups, slaws, and much more.
Texture-wise, its crispness gives dishes an interesting contrast against other soft ingredients.
Those who are not fond of red radish’s strong flavor can substitute it with watermelon radish, which is comparable in shape with white flesh inside featuring milder notes while being slightly sweeter.
3 – White Radish
White radish may be lesser known than some other root vegetables, but its unique taste and texture give it a place in any kitchen.
This mild-tasting radish has a firm consistency when raw, which makes it perfect for adding crunch to salads and stir-fries.
It takes on an earthy flavor when cooked, making it excellent for creating interesting side dishes.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the watermelon radish, white radish is a great substitute.
When thinly sliced and pickled with vinegar, it develops an incredibly flavorful tang that can rival watermelon radish’s complexity.
Experimenting with different seasonings can add even more depth of flavor to this delicious vegetable.
4 – Korean Radish
Korean radish is an essential ingredient in many Korean dishes.
Known as Mu in Korean, it is a root vegetable that resembles a white carrot and has a crisp, crunchy texture to it.
Its flavor is pungent but with a sweetness and mild spicy notes that can be utilized as garnishes or salads.
For example, when grated, it can be used for salads or pancakes.
When prepared differently, this radish can be steamed, sautéed, or pressure cooked, then drizzled with sesame oil.
Although not as widely available, the watermelon radish is similar in taste and texture and can easily substitute for the traditional Korean variety when needed.
It’s possible to find both types of rad snacks online or at specialty stores if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby.
5 – Black Spanish Radish
With its unique, dark-black skin and bright white interior, Black Spanish Radish is a peculiar-looking vegetable that can often be seen in grocery stores.
But don’t let the outside fool you – this radish packs flavor, texture, and numerous health benefits.
When eaten raw, the Black Spanish Radish offers a slightly spicy taste and crisp texture.
As for health benefits, it’s packed with vitamin C and dietary fiber that can help improve digestion.
This radish is naturally low in fat and calories but high in essential nutrients like calcium which helps build strong bones, as well as magnesium which plays an important role in nerve functioning.
If you’re looking to substitute a particular kind of radish, such as the Watermelon Radish, sliced Black Spanish Radishes can make an excellent substitute due to their crunchiness or grated when used in salads.
Whichever way you prepare it, this radish will certainly add complexity to any dish.
In conclusion, the watermelon radish is a unique and flavorful vegetable that can be used to add complexity to any dish.
However, if it’s unavailable or you’re looking for something more accessible, there are many different substitutes, including Red Radish, White Radish, Korean Radish, and Black Spanish Radish.
Each of these vegetables has its own distinct flavor and texture, making them excellent options for both salads and side dishes.
So don’t fret if you can’t find the Watermelon Radish – try out any of these substitutes and see how they bring your dish to life.