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Rat-Tail radishes are the long, green seed pods of a certain type of radish plant. The pods are green and pencil-thin, with a smooth, albeit lumpy appearance. They can measure up to 30 centimeters in length at full maturity, though are typically best when harvested around 15 centimeters long. The pods are soft but crisp and offer a texture akin to a thin chile pepper. The younger pods will not be as fibrous as the older, longer ones. The flavor is delicate yet offers a sharp, pungent bite.
Rat-Tail radish is available in the late spring and through the fall months.
Rat-Tail radishes are the edible seed pods, or siliques, of the radish plant, botanically known as Raphanis sativus var. caudatus. The heirloom plants do not produce bulbous roots like other radish plants, instead after flowering, produce hundreds of long, spindly seed pods. Rat-Tail radish plants are heavy producers and will produce pods for up to two months straight. In addition to the green-podded plants, there are also varieties that produce white and purple-colored pods. They are well-known and popular in Asian cuisine.
Rat-Tail radishes are a good source of vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. They are also a source of vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, calcium and riboflavin.
Rat-Tail radishes can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be sliced and added to salads or crudité platters. They can be sautéed with butter and garlic or pickled with a variety of spices or with cucumbers and peppers. They may lose a bit of spiciness when cooked but retain their texture. Stir-fry Rat-Tail radishes with other vegetables, meats or poultry. They pair well with Asian or Indian flavors, and can be added to curries, soups or stews. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month if kept dry and wrapped.
In Germany, Rat-Tail radishes are most often enjoyed with a beer. One variety of Rat-Tail radishes is called Munchen Bier, after this tradition. They are either eaten raw or pickled with peppercorns, mace and allspice, and served alongside a frothy brew.
Rat-Tail radishes are native to Southeast Asia and are most commonly found in India and Asia. They were first introduced to Japan from Thailand in 1867 where they gained a brief notoriety based on flagrant claims. For a time, they were popular in Europe, North America and Australia. Rat-Tail radishes were said to have been planted on the grounds of Sandringham, the home of the Prince of Wales. Popularity waned and for the last 100 years or so have only been planted as an oddity. They are still popular in their native Southeast Asia and are starting to appear on more menus in the United States. They can be spotted at farmer’s markets in temperate areas in America and Europe.
Recipes that include Rat-Tail Radish. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Seattle Flour Child||Fermented Sour Pickle with Rat Tail Radish|
People have shared Rat-Tail Radish using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
County Line HarvestNear Santa Monica, California, United States
About 316 days ago, 1/22/20
Sharer's comments : Wow- look at these rat-tail radishes
Cleator Public Park Near Coronado, California, United States
About 565 days ago, 5/18/19
Sharer's comments : Rat-tail radish foraging. They grow wild throughout San Diego.