White Icicle Radish
The slender Icicle radish delivers a rich spicy flavor. Usually about five to six inches in length, the pure white flesh is milder than the common red radish. Consistent in flavor, the texture is extra crisp and is sometimes referred to as the "Pearl Forcing" radish. Radish leaves are edible as well.
Low in calories, a three ounce serving contains about 18 calories. A source of vitamin C, icicle radishes contain active enzymes that aid digestion. The nutritious leaves are rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and iron.
Diced, sliced or slivered, raw icicle radishes add crispy texture to salads and relishes. For an unusual side dish, top with cream or hollandaise sauce. Add flavor to soups, stews and stir-fries. Grill, bake, broil or boil. To use as a condiment, grate on a cheese grater. To help keep the radish white and to mellow any bitterness when cooked, add some rice bran or use water in which rice has been washed. To store, refrigerate in a sealed container or plastic bag to maintain high humidity.
Also known as an Oriental radish and Chinese radish, the icicle variety is a type of Daikon root vegetable believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region. Sometime around 500 B.C. it was taken to China where it was cultivated. Today Daikon is produced in Japan on a large scale. Requiring plenty of moisture to assure crisp texture and good flavor, icicle radishes mature in about 27 days after planting from seed. California and Texas are major commercial producers.