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What is Watermelon Radish?

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What is Watermelon Radish?
Photo Judith Doyle/Flickr

Here is a fun vegetable to add to your cooking repertoire this year: watermelon radish. This intensely colored root vegetable is a fun way to spice up your meals while adding a nutritional boost. 

What Is Watermelon Radish?

Beige with hints of green on the outside, hot pink on the inside, watermelon radish is true to its name when it comes to appearance but not flavor. 

Watermelon radish is an heirloom variety of daikon radish and a member of the mustard family.

This root vegetable originated in China where it is called Shinrimei (or Xin Li Mei). In the United States, watermelon radish also goes by the name Red Meat or Rooseheart radish. 

What Does Watermelon Radish Taste Like?

Watermelon radishes are juicy, crunchy, slightly sweet but with a hint of peppery goodness. They are milder in flavor than the traditional red radish but much larger in size.

Nutritional Value

Consuming watermelon radish is a great way to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, as it is rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C. 

This colorful vegetable is also a good source of phytochemicals and antioxidants. Another bonus? One cup contains just 16 calories.


image via U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

How To Cook Watermelon Radish

Watermelon radish may be enjoyed raw, pickled, roasted and even added to vegetable soups.

It is superb shaved onto salads and tossed with vinaigrette. Or sliced thinly and added to open-faced sandwiches for maximum impact.

Try this easy recipe for herbed goat cheese tartines from Camille Styles:


image via Camille Styles

A simple pickling in vinegar ensures you'll have watermelon radish available year round. Here is an easy pickle recipe you can adapt to any vegetable.

Roasting mellows out its flavor but not its intense color. Try this interesting recipe for watermelon radish chips from In Erika's Kitchen.

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