Pickling is a great way to preserve the season’s bounty for off-season enjoyment. It is also a great way to enjoy a favorite product like our watermelon radishes in a different way. Besides that, we simply love pickles of any kind.
We use our watermelon radishes, in this recipe but you can pickle our daikon, white, and even table radishes using this recipe. If you do the only change is that with smaller radishes you may not need the wide mouth canning jars.
Note: There are three basic kinds of pickling: quick pickles, meant to be eaten within 7 days; cold pickled, meant to be eaten within 30 days and stored in the fridge; and pasteurized, meant to be eaten within 1 year and stored (unopened) at room temperature.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes (to boil brine)
Yields: 3 24 oz wide-mouth canning jars or 6 1 pt wide-mouth canning jars
Note: Use wide-mouth jars if at all possible so that you can use all of your watermelon radish slices. Most radishes will yield slices that are too wide for the small-mouth canning jars. You can, of course, cut the wider slices so that they will fit into the small-mouth jars but save yourself some time and simply get the wide-mouth ones.
- 6-8 medium sized watermelon radishes (this number will vary depending on the sizes of the radishes you use)
- 4 1/2 cups organic rice vinegar
- 4 1/2 cups distilled water
- 1 tbsp pickling spices per 24 oz wide-mouth canning jar (cinnamon, allspice, mustard seeds, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, chili peppers, cloves, black pepper, mace, and cardamom) or…
- 1 tsp per 1 pt wide-mouth canning jar
- 1 tbsp kosher or pickling salt per 24 oz wide-mouth canning jar or…
- 1 tsp kosher or pickling salt per 1 pt wide-mouth canning jar
Note: The best kinds of salt to use for pickling are pure salts that don’t contain any additives, otherwise your pickling liquid will turn cloudy (anti-caking agents) or the product you are trying to pickle will become discolored (iodine). Use pure sea salt or for a less expensive alternative, Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which does not include anti-caking agents or iodine. Do not use regular table salt, as it contains iodine.
- Wash the radishes, cut off the top stem part, peel.
- If you decide to pickle table radishes you do not need to peel them.
- Slice the radishes into 1/8 inch thick slices (use a mandolin if available as the slices will be uniform in thickness); set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boiling (this is to sterilize the canning jars, rings, and lids).
- To determine how much water to use put the jars in an empty pot and fill it to one inch above the top of the jars. If the water level ends up being close to the top of your pot, choose a bigger pot if available.
- Bring the pot of water to a boil to sterilize the jars, rings, and lids.
- Carefully remove the jars (preferably using canning tongs), empty them; set aside.
- Carefully and using tongs dunk a ring and lid pair into the boiling water, remove; set aside (on a clean plate).
- Place 1 tbsp of pickling spices into each 24 oz jar (1 tsp into 1 pt jar).
- Place radish slices into the jars.
- You may have to move around a few of the slices because they may not lay flat but at an angle (see photo above).
- Fill each jar, one jar at a time, with slices up to 1 inch from the top of each jar.
- Your jars of watermelon radish slices are ready to fill with the brine.
Cooking (the Brine):
- Place the vinegar, water, and salt into a medium sauce pot, bring to a boil for one minute to dissolve the salt. (You will end up with more brine than you need but that is far better than finding out you don’t have enough and have to make more.)
- Ladle the hot brine into each jar and fill to 1/4 inch below the top of each jar.
- Allow the brine to settle then gently tap each jar onto the countertop or table to get any trapped air bubbles to the surface, add more brine if necessary, but only to 1/4 inch from the top of the jar.
- Wipe the rims of each jar with a clean paper towel then place the lid and ring on and turn to hand tighten the rings.
- Set on a wire rack to cool, then store in the fridge for up to 30 days.
- Allow up to 7 days for the brine and pickling spices to do their trick then your pickled watermelon radishes are ready to eat.