Green Meat Radishes
Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
Green Meat radishes widely range in size, averaging 12 to 22 centimeters in length and 7 to 8 centimeters in diameter, but generally have a uniform and straight, cylindrical shape, tapering slightly towards the non-stem end. The swollen and elongated root has a firm, thick, semi-smooth, and textured surface, showcasing a unique dark green coloring with an ivory to white tip. Underneath the bi-colored surface, the flesh also displays brilliant, striated green hues with a darker green ring around the edge. The flesh is crisp, fine-grained, dense, and succulent with a snap-like consistency. Green Meat radishes generally have a sweet, mild, and subtly spicy flavor, but depending on growing conditions, the roots do have the potential to develop a strong, pungent spice that builds in intensity and concentrates in the nose.
Green Meat radishes are available in the spring and fall.
Green Meat radishes, botanically classified as Raphanus sativus, are distinct bi-colored varieties belonging to the Brassicaceae family. The emerald-green roots have been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years and are highly valued for their mild flavor and crisp, juicy texture. The name Green Meat radishes is a general descriptor for cultivars with green flesh, and the roots are also known under more specific varietal names, including Green Luobo, Misato Green, Qing Luo Bo, and Chinese Green radishes. The entire plant is edible, including the leaves, and throughout Asia, Green Meat radishes are utilized in culinary and medicinal practices. In recent years, Green Meat radishes have spread worldwide and are primarily cultivated by specialty growers for the root’s unique coloring, cold-weather tolerance, large size, fine-grained flesh, and long shelf life.
Green Meat radishes are an excellent source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, boost collagen production within the skin, and reduce inflammation. The roots are also a good source of potassium to balance fluid levels, folate to develop red blood cells, and contain lower amounts of magnesium, calcium, copper, vitamin K, and phosphorus. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, radishes are used as a digestive aid and are believed to promote health and wellness, particularly in the respiratory system. The roots are commonly consumed raw or juiced to help reduce phlegm and coughs.
Green Meat radishes have a mildly pungent flavor and crisp texture well suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The radishes can be utilized in recipes calling for daikon radish as they share a similar texture and flavor profile. When raw, the roots can be sliced thin and served on appetizer plates with cream-based dips and soft cheeses, cut and spread over buttered toast, chopped and tossed into salads, grated into coleslaw, or thinly sliced and incorporated as a crunchy element into bao buns, sandwiches, and tacos. Green Meat radishes can also be grated and served as a condiment with sushi or sashimi, incorporated into soups and stews, mixed into stir-fries, or roasted as a simple side dish. In Asia, Green Meat radishes are popularly pickled for extended use as a tangy, fermented bite. The roots are sometimes used in kimchi, chopped for relishes, or pickled with Sichuan peppers for a spicy kick. In addition to the roots, Green Meat radish leaves are also edible and can be sauteed, steamed, blanched, or stir-fried, similarly to mustard greens. Green Meat radishes pair well with aromatics such as ginger, lemongrass, onions, garlic, and peppers, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, meats including pork, poultry, beef, and fish, citrus, miso, and soy sauce. Whole, unwashed Green Meat radishes will keep 1 to 2 weeks stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Radish greens should be removed prior to storage and kept in a separate plastic bag for 1 to 3 days.
In the city of Qingdao in the Shandong Province, China, the annual Qingdao Radish Festival celebrates the importance of radishes within Chinese cuisine and honors the root’s intertwined history with Chinese folklore. The festival's history can be traced over 600 years ago to the Ming Dynasty, where radishes were traditionally eaten on the ninth day of the Lunar New Year for good health and luck. The ninth day of the Lunar New Year is symbolic of the start of spring, and in Shandong, consuming radishes in a spicy soup provided cleansing for the digestive tract and protection from disease in the year to come. In the modern-day, Chinese families still practice the tradition of consuming spicy radish soup, and the festival captures the essence and tradition of the ancient folklore through elaborate sculptures created from various radish varieties. The radish carving contest features over 30 master carvers from China. The sculptures are displayed throughout the event for visitors to admire, vote for, and enjoy, and the winning carver will receive the highest honor and respect for the following year. Green Meat radishes are often used in the carvings for their pale green hue, and the sculptures typically depict mythical zodiac creatures, dragons, koi fish, ducks, and buddhas. These creatures are chosen based on the annual theme and provide visitors with a visual image of the region's cultural heritage. The Qingdao Radish Festival also draws approximately 150,000 residents of Qingdao into the festival to purchase radishes. Many different varieties of radishes are sold at the festival, including Green Meat radishes, and by the end of the festival, over eight tons of radishes have typically been sold. In addition to fresh radishes, the festival also features radish exhibits, other contests, cooking demonstrations, and market goods.
Green Meat radishes are believed by experts to be native to Northern China and have been cultivated since ancient times. The first green radish recorded was noted in texts from the Shang Dynasty, and over time, the mild roots became widely incorporated into culinary preparations, medicinal applications, and used for ornamental purposes across China. Green Meat radishes were later introduced to Central Asia and Europe in the mid 17th century, where they were planted in home gardens. The green roots thrived in colder temperatures and had extended storage capabilities, making them favorable for many areas of Europe, and the radishes were eventually brought to the New World. Today Green Meat radishes are widely available in Asia and are considered a specialty radish in Europe and North America. When in season, the green roots are sold through farmer’s markets, Asian grocers, distributors, and grown in home gardens.
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