The Watermelon radish is made up of an edible globular root attached to thin stems and wavy green leaves. Its exterior is creamy white in color with pale green shoulders, a sign of the chlorophyll it received from exposure to the sun. The Watermelon radish's flesh is white closest to the exterior becoming bright circular striations of pink and magenta, hence the watermelon reference. Its flesh is tender-crisp, succulent, and firm. Its flavor is mild, only slightly peppery with almond-sweet notes. Depending on when harvested, Watermelon radishes can range in size from golf ball to softball. Look for Watermelon radishes with smooth skin free of deep cracks and for an exceptionally pink interior look for radishes with pink taproots.
Watermelon radish is an heirloom Chinese daikon radish and botanically a member of the Brassica (mustard) family. Like most radishes the Watermelon radish contains isothiocyanate, a pungent chemical compound that when isolated makes an organic, natural pest repellent. Often radish crops (along with other Brassica plants) are planted by growers for this attribute as they release these compounds which are a natural repellent to weeds, pests, and soil born pathogens.
The Watermelon radish, both the root and the greens, provide an excellent source of vitamin C, particularly when eaten raw.
Watermelon radishes can be served fresh or cooked, hot or cold. Cooking the Watermelon radish will enhance its natural sweetness and temper some of the spice. Sliced thin they are perfect for showcasing their vibrant color in salads, atop sandwiches, or alongside sushi. This variety is also popularly sliced and pickled then utilized as a colorful condiment. Sliced or chopped radishes can also be added to soups and stir-fries. In Chinese cuisine, radish is commonly cooked or served along with seafood as it is said to impart sweetness and remove fishiness from a dish. The greens of the radish additionally can be used and are popularly added to soups, stews, and stir-fries. Watermelon radishes pair well with fennel,apple , cheeses such as feta and chèvre, butter, cream-based dressings, vinaigrettes, bacon, white fish, cucumbers, mild salad greens, cooked eggs, noodles such as soba and udon, citrus, cilantro, mint, and tarragon. To store, keep watermelon radishes refrigerated and use within one week.