These radishes have soon become a staple in our household, since I made them for the first time a few months ago. I planned to make a Bánh Mì sandwich. And when I walked around the market and looked for daikon radishes, I saw instead the first cute little pink radishes. They were fresh, they were from the farmer in the next village, they were radishes – what did I want more? – I had to use them instead. It shouldn’t be the last batch…
What can I say about these pickled radishes? The sweet-sour pickling brine takes off a bit of the sharpness and adds tartness and a nice hint of sweetness. The colour of the red radish skin soon starts to diffuse into the brine turning again the white radish slices into pale pink ones.
Originally made for Bánh Mì – yes, my version is following – I now eat them basically with everything: Scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, summer salads, and most loved: on top of a simple cheese sandwich that is multiple times better with this little addition. And although a typical South German Brotzeit or Vesper is only complete with some pickled gherkins, I nowadays leave this traditional path in favour of my Vietnamese-German cheese sandwich with pickled radishes. If traditions are meant to survive they must live – and living always means movement, change, adaption. Looked on a cheese sandwich this way, it holds some truth that points beyond itself.
Pickled pink radishes (1 jar at 500 ml)
1 bunch red radishes (about 250 g without greens, after cleaning), 250 ml water, 125 ml white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar
Remove greens and thoroughly wash radishes. Cut into slices discarding top and stem. Place in a clean jar holding ½ liter. In another jar or bowl mix vinegar with salt and sugar. Meanwhile boil water. Add boiling water to the vinegar. Pour over the radishes as soon as sugar and salt have dissolved. Take care that all radishes are covered with liquid. You’ll probably will be left with some pickling brine, depending on the slightly varying amount of radishes and the size of your jar. Either keep it for the next batch (that will be necessary sooner as you might think) or experiment with pickling other vegetables that you can find in the fridge.
After a few days the pickled radishes will loose some of their firmness, but not their flavour. They keep for at least 2-3 weeks in the fridge. You’ll know that they’re over the top when you can smell some fermentation – but honestly: I’ve never reached this point.