Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I may call on the animal kingdom to help me with my stock, but anything that floats in my soup du jour comes from outback.

Pride of place in the broth is always the radish.

I'm a daikon aficionado and that includes the Watermelon pinks (pictured).

I'm at that stage where I'm beginning to foster a supply line. They are never as big as I hope and I too often get stalk atop of no body.

Maybe it isn't the sort of veg that gets gasps on Ag show days. Radishes, after all, are supposedly DIY fodder for kids.

But respect is what they deserve. Aside from the colour range, the taste varies between varieties.

[Among the non-Daikons I raise my hand for French Breakfast.]

They may be a kimchi essential in my mouth -- indeed there are radish only kimchis (EG:Kkakdugi or Chonggak) -- but I love them, sliced, and  thrown into a bubbling soup just before serving. Sliced when raw and dropped on top of tacos they are heavenly. Grated just before serving, they sit well on the side of a bowl of rice or atop a grilled meat.

Word has it that the most popular vegetable in Japan is the daikon radish, beating out onions and cabbage.

As for growing the darn things....I'm still working at my apprenticeship in my soil.

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Comment by Sid Saghe on September 25, 2019 at 21:47

I’m growing daikon at the moment - we saw massive ones in gardens in Japan and we’ve eaten them for ages so I’m hoping it will go well. 

Comment by Dave Riley on September 25, 2019 at 19:31

My radish focus began when I bit into a Watermelon Radish for the first time while weeding at the Green P farm in Deagon.. Since then I've been trying to grow them -- not as successfully as I'd like until this last year or so.

But a good bulky white  Daikon is very nice. Stay away from the black Spanish as they are very peppery.

I guess I fuss because so few do -- aside from the Koreans and Japanese. And they are essential to Vietnamese Daikon and Carrot Pickles (Do Chua).

As for eating...sliced is OK, chopped up with cucumber in a salad, grated on top of meats or soups or rice. I like them roasted too. Fermenting of course -- as in kimchi.

I do like them in soups for the flavour and crunch.

As  an aside a radish option,I think, is yacón. So I guess it has a lot to do with the 'excitement ' of texture -- when other root veges can impose intense flavours.

Comment by Susan on September 25, 2019 at 19:03

Am I missing something?  - I don't like radish.  Never have.  I grow them every now and again, convinced that I am missing out on something wonderful (and you don't help with that Dave) but every time - Meh! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ can't see what the fuss is about. 

Is their one variety that will convince me otherwise?

Comment by Dave Riley on September 24, 2019 at 22:24

In my quest seeking radishes I have learnt that there are so many kinds that no one seems to be up to listing them all. Aside from the debate about the origin of the plant itself, suffice to say that the best rule of thumb with radish cultivars is to accept that there are two kinds of radishes: European and Asian.

While the 'Asian' family is oft associated with daikon derivatives it really isn't that simple. Indeed, who really knows as this article indicates.

In Spain, Germany and Italy you will find regional radish types just as you will in Japan and India.

If you want to partake of the roots here is a good (and very cheap) radish seed beginning.

'Daikons' are cheap at the moment in the vegey shops so pick up a few and integrate them into your domestic menu.

Before the soil heats up too much plant some radish seeds. They should be quick and easy to grow this time of year  (albeit a bit late for the cooler weather preferred and maybe some European ones) . Don't forget you can eat both the bulb and the leaves.

...and still more reasons to grow radishes.

If you don't, then maybe get yourself a radish doll, a plush Daikon radish pillow or, for the gardener who seems to have everything, a pair of Daikon slippers.

Comment by Dave Riley on September 23, 2019 at 23:18

Today and yesterday I planted out radishes. Four types. And I expect to sow another variety tomorrow.

You see, I've decided to take my radishes seriously. Afterall, I eat them daily at the moment.

[I'm resting from mung bean spout production you see...]

I have a few seeds of Pusa Jamuni which is supposedly a tasty option with pink on the outside and purple flesh. But the big discovery is 'Daikon' / Minowase / Japanese Radish in that this is the radish I seek out to cook with when I shop. It is a true fat Daikon -- crisp and juicy.

The ones I got from the market veg stall on Sunday are as wide as my fist.

So many white radishes may masquerade as 'daikon' but these are the seeds to sow if you are daikon serious. Whether I can grow them so big is another question.

Tillage Radish is used as a cover crop ... just so long as you bury it rather than eat it.

Commonly radish is a cool season crop but the Asiatic varieties can resist more heat than the European or temperate varieties. It attains best flavour, texture and size at 10 to 15°C. Long days as well as high temperature lead to bolting without adequate root formation. During the hot weather, the root becomes tough and pungent before reaching the edible size and, therefore, crop should be harvested while young and small in size. The radish is more pungent at higher temperature. Pungency decreases with cooler temperature....LINK.

Comment by Dave Riley on September 7, 2019 at 18:36

With my interest piqued I explored radish lore. Indeed, why the radish should appear so often atop of a taco --when radishes probably emanate from China -- is partly explained byThe Night of the Radishes (Noche de Los Rábanos in Spanish) -- an annual event held on December 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The radishes aren't eaten but carved!

Indeed the great Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, celebrated the radish (below)

The Tenptations of Saint Antony (Las tentaciones de San Antonio) 1947 by Diego Rivera

But are they eaten?

There is  a whole radish and... salsa cuisine to be had. with cucumbers, jicama...Here's an example.

But what got me really excited was that if Mexica -- Oaxaca City even south of the Tropic of Cancer  -- can grow radishes how many months per year can I grow them here in BrisVegas?

Given, of course, that radish is seen as a cool weather crop...

All in all what I'm seeing is the utmost challenge.

Some peeps may seek to don a costume and be Spider Man, but all I want out of life is to become Radish Man.

Chihiro and the Radish Spirit in "Spirited Away"

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on September 5, 2019 at 20:00

I probably ought to try eating a few... 

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