Pickled radishes

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Pickled radishes and rábanos en curtidos

Pickled radishes are a crunchy, flavorful sour dish that is served with tacos or as a side dish. It is a traditional recipe popular everywhere in Mexico and Latin America.

The Spanish names for these recipes are known as ‘encurtidos’ or ‘curtidos’. Other vegetables that you can use with this recipe are jalapeños and red onions. Although, when using onions, they are simmered in salted water or are marinated in salted water depending on the recipe. These radishes have a sharp peppery flavor and combining them with a vinegar brine will give any dish a sour crunch.

Slicing radishes, rábanos

I don’t slice them super thin. See how thick I cut them, this will help to keep them a bit crunchy.

First, rinse radishes well and trim the ends. When you buy radishes with leaves, use these leaves in salads right away, don’t let it spoil in the fridge. They are delicate and get wilted fast. However, I didn’t follow my own advice and this time my leaves were wilted, so I placed them in the compost. Slice radishes and place them in a medium-sized bowl.

The serrano pepper is the kicker in this recipe, but you can also use jalapeños. I discard the seeds of the chile, it is up to you if you prefer to keep the seeds.

Combine the apple cider vinegar, water, sea salt in a saucepan and bring to a quick boil. If you prefer a more salty taste, add more salt. My ratio of water, vinegar, and salt can be multiplied if you prepare a large batch. Keep playing with the flavors as you continue to make your own recipe. I like salty and sour but not to the point of overpowering the radishes that you can’t stand the brine.

Pickling radishes, rábanos en curtidos

About the salt, use coarse sea salt. Since I like fermenting foods, I also have these mineral salts that I have tried and they are good, just remember to use the large granules of salt.

Once the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and pour it into the radishes bowl. Stir and let it sit for about 30 minutes or until room temperature. Add serrano peppers, the juice of one lime and chopped cilantro. Other herbs and ingredients that you can try are dried oregano, garlic or jalapeño. Other spices that are popular are pickling spices such as peppercorns, coriander, and cumin seeds. Get creative with your batch.

Once it has cooled down, place in a clean glass jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. It can last for weeks if you are careful not to spoil it by leaving out for too long or letting dirty spoons go in the jar. I use two medium-sized mason jars. These pickled radishes will add a great flavor to any taco. I eat them as a snack and in sandwiches. They are amazing in salads, too. Enjoy!

Pickled radishes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
1 hr

Make this recipe ahead of time or one day in advanced to eat with tacos, in sandwiches or in salads.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 114 kcal
  • 1 bunch or 1 pound of radishes or 4 cups sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 serrano pepper cut lengthwise, stem removed
  • 1 fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  1. Wash and rinse radishes. Discard leaves. You can use leaves for salads but if wilted, add it to your compost!

  2. Slice the radishes and place in medium sized bowl (not a metal bowl). Cut serrano pepper lengthwise, chop cilantro and set aside.

  3. Heat apple cider vinegar, water, sea salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil for one minute and remove from heat.

  4. Place liquid into radishes bowl, add serrano pepper, lime juice and cilantro. Cover and let it sit until room temperature or 30 minutes to cool down.

  5. Store in glass jars or bowls with lid in the refrigerator. Serve cold with your favorite tacos, salads, or as a side dish.

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