I used to teach first graders and always planned a special activity for the first day of school, to break the ice and get to know the children. One of my favorite first day activities was asking them what fruit or vegetable they most resembled. We had loads of apples and pickles (what is it about kids and pickles?), quite a few tomatoes and carrots, and even an occasional lettuce or spinach.
But there was never a single radish. Not once did any of my students express a desire to be a radish. Not a white one or a red one. Not a round one or a long one. Why? Because radishes are lowly and humble. They're unexciting and boring. Sure, they pack a punch and can clear your sinuses like few other vegetables can. But they are certainly a side show in my kitchen and at my table.
That's all changed for me now that I've discovered Braised Radish. Just a quick saute followed by a braising with some aromatics is enough to elevate the lowly radish to something elegant. Something worthy of starring in any show. This radish can easily take front stage. I'd be happy to be a radish like this one any day.
Simple Braised Radish
Serves 2-4; 30 minutes prep
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1 12-oz bag of radishes, trimmed and rinsed
2 tablespoons sake wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon water
Heat the oil in a large cast iron frying pan. Add the scallions and ginger, and saute for a few minutes, stirring frequently, till soft.
Add the radishes, wine, soy sauce and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat.
Cook for about 20 minutes (time will vary based on the size of your radishes), stirring from time to time to distribute the flavors. When the radishes are cooked to your liking, uncover the pan and cook for another few minutes so the juices get more concentrated.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Linking this up to Frugal Food Thursdays.