Do You Have To Peel Radishes

Do You Have To Peel Radishes?

Radishes don’t need to be peeled before being used, but it’s also discouraged to peel them unless you want to use the peel separately. You do not need to peel radishes before you use them. Simply cut off the stalk and root and slice the vegetable with the peel on. If you peel them, the flavor and appearance of the vegetable will be diminished. Find out how to peel radishes and how to cut them using different strategies below!

To Peel Or Not To Peel?

Radishes are one of the few foods that do not require peeling. The skin also contributes to the mildly spicy, earthy, and zesty flavor of the vegetable, so peeling it may reduce its overall taste! Radishes’ skin doesn’t contain any compounds that give them a bitter flavor, which is why it is recommended that you keep it on.

Additionally, the peel gives radish slices their famous red rim, which has more to do with aesthetics than anything else! Since the flesh of this vegetable is white, you would lose all its distinct characteristics if you peeled it completely – so much so that some might not even be able to identify it unless they tasted it. Peeled radishes, on the other hand, can also be used in the same way as regular radishes – just without their iconic color.

How To Prepare Radishes

The most common way to prepare radishes is as follows!

Step 1. Washing 

It is always recommended that you wash radishes at home before using them since they grow underground and can carry dirt, debris, fertilizer, and even pesticide. The most common method of cleaning these vegetables before they are sold is by pressing air or brushing them lightly. The added moisture will eventually promote bacteria growth and may even accelerate rot, so farmers avoid washing them.

Make sure you wash radishes just before using them, and never store them wet:

  1. Fill a large bowl with clean water and then dunk the radishes a few times.

  2. To remove chemical residue and loosen stuck debris, gently massage the surface of the vegetable.

  3. The water should be drained and refilled if it becomes cloudy or dirty.

  4. Make sure all the radishes are clean by repeating the above steps.

It is recommended that you clean each radish separately instead of haphazardly dunking a bunch! Not only will the radishes not be clean, but you may also end up splashing water all over your counter.

Step 2. Cutting

You can now cut your radishes now that they are clean! In this step, you will need a knife that is very sharp. We recommend using a chef’s knife so that you can control the quality of the slices more easily. The rounded shape of radishes makes it possible for the blade of the knife to slip off the surface when cutting them.

Risks can be minimized, if not eliminated, by following these steps:

  1. Slice off the stem and root of the vegetable. Don’t cut thick slices, just a thin slice to remove the stem.

  2. This is the closest you will get to peeling radishes!

  3. Ideally, you want to slice a very thin slice from the curved side of the vegetable. By doing this, you will have 3 cut sides (stem, root, and side). The side cut will provide even more grip as you slice the radishes.

  4. Using the side-cut as a base, slice the radishes from one end to the other. You can adjust the thickness of the slices as you see fit.

  5. To get beautifully cut radishes, repeat the same steps for the rest.

  6. To remove any leftover debris, rinse the slices with clean water before using!

How To Peel Radishes

Normally, radishes aren’t supposed to be peeled, but if you’re wanting to use them artisanally and fancy, you can peel them. Depending on your needs, you might want to use unpeeled or peeled radishes. If you don’t want to add color to your recipe, you should probably use peeled radishes.

Generally, there are two methods for peeling radishes without wasting them – the first method only requires a swivel peeler, while the second method requires a sharp paring knife.

1. Swivel Peeler Method

You can peel any type of vegetable with a swivel peeler – this tool creates thin peels instead of thicker cuts.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wash the radishes according to our guide above before using a swivel peeler.

  2. The curvature of radishes allows the peeler to contour to the shape and create equal peels on each side, so you don’t have to cut off the stem and root!

  3. Put the peeler on top of the radish at an angle, then gently move it down to the other end until you get a thin peel. Avoid applying too much pressure to get thicker peels!

  4. Continue peeling radishes until all have been peeled. Once all radishes have been peeled, reset the peeler and rotate to the unpeeled side.

  5. Afterwards, rinse the peeled radishes and cut the stem and root as usual.

At the end, you will be left with a white vegetable devoid of color, but since you are going for that, mission accomplished? With a drizzle of any condiment to give them contrast, sliced or chopped radishes can be served as a simple side.

2. Knife Peeling Method 

While this method requires some skill and experience, it is the best way to get the peel off, particularly if you don’t have a dedicated vegetable peeler. Paring knives are smaller, provide precise control, and are relatively easy to use for this method.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. When peeling a radish, place the blade at an angle near the stem. Then, gently push inward so that the blade touches the skin.

  2. If you put the knife in too much, you might end up cutting the radish instead of peeling it!

  3. To avoid peeling thick slices, glide the blade down to the root while maintaining the same angle.

  4. When you have the first peel, inspect its thickness. If you notice that the peel is thicker than necessary, adjust your grip and blade angle.

  5. Once you have peeled the entire vegetable, simply cut the stem and root off and enjoy!

Bonus: Alternate Knife Peeling Method

This peeling technique is great for small vegetables like radishes and may even help you reduce wastage if you aren’t comfortable peeling the radish from the stem. Peeling sideways will create a rounded peel instead of cutting downwards from the root or stem.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. The radish should be gripped with one hand, and the knife should be held with all fingers, except the thumb, in the other.

  2. To navigate the knife around the radish, place your thumb on the radish and set the knife’s edge just above the thumb.

  3. You can peel the rest of the radish by rotating the vegetable until you reach the other side. Try peeling the entire radish using a swirling motion so that it forms a winding peel.

Professional chefs use the round-peel method to make beautiful shapes from vegetable peels – radish peels, with their attractive color, are ideal for plating!

Related Questions

It is not necessary to peel radishes, but you can use the peels for interesting plating and presentation ideas. You can even use peeled radishes for recipes that don’t require additional colors. Here are some related questions now that you know how to peel them.

Can you use a mandolin to peel radishes? 

Vegetables can be sliced thinly or thickly by mandolins, but they can also be peeled.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. To create super thin slices, set the blade on the mandolin.

  2. Next, use the provided accessory to gently push down as you slide across the radish to peel it.

  3. Continue peeling the radish until all sides have been peeled!

Can radish peels be eaten separately? 

Aside from providing a pleasing appearance, radish peels can also add a subtle radish flavor to your recipes. A radish peel can provide a subtle spicy and zesty flavor that complements most savory recipes, but they are typically used for presentation only.

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