Braised Radish

When the weather is chilly a little bit of heat, in the form of chilies, can be the perfect thing to warm you up.    I recently saw some large white Chinese radishes in my neighborhood market and wanted to make something spicy and comforting and Korean cuisine came to mind.   I took the Korean food cooking principles I’ve learned over the years to create my own dish that may or may not be authentic.

White radishes are a fantastic, versatile ingredient.  While red radishes have a reputation of overpowering a dish with their dominating spiciness, their white counterparts absorb flavors.  Red radishes cannot be substituted in this recipe, but turnips are a suitable alternative.

I was truly surprised by the taste and texture of the radish after the braise.  The radish became soft and mellow and acted like a sponge for the other ingredients.   In this preparation they were the vehicles to showcase the spicy sweetness of the gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), the saltiness of the doenjang (Korean soybean paste) and the flavors of the sautéed vegetables.

So the radish wouldn’t be lonely I quickly steamed some bean sprouts for a few minutes and dressed them with a swirl of sesame oil, chopped green onions, and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.

Braised radish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1lb/500g Chinese/Korean white radish*
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 2 long green peppers sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp/30mL gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp/15mL doenjang** (Korean soybean paste)
  • chopped green onions, as a garnish
  1. Mix the two pastes together in a small bowl with a bit of warm water to loosen them up.
  2. Heat neutral oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or wok over medium heat. Stir-fry onions and green peppers for a few minutes until softened. Add garlic and stir-fry for an additional minute.
  3. Add radish, mixed pastes, and 2 cups/475mL of water. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until radish is translucent and the sauce is thickened.
  4. Serve with steamed bean sprouts or rice.
* Turnips can be substituted **Miso paste or Chinese soybean paste can be substituted


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