Children being introduced to gardening for the first time are often given radish to grow, being one of the fastest and simplest vegetables to grow and therefore thought to encourage them, however rarely have I ever seen a child tuck in to a radish with enthusiasm and it always struct me that it would be better to grow something that they like to eat if you want to encourage them.
I hold my hands up to not being the most enthusiastic radish eater but perhaps they are growing on me, especially since having them pickled with carrots in Vietnam which is a completely different experience.
I am more fond of the mouli/daikon radish than your typical small round red as they are more versatile in the kitchen so I thought I would give White Icicle a try which is a summer radish but in the style of a mouli/daikon.
Flavour wise it is a bit sneaky. They started off fairly mild and then comes in with that familiar kick. The best roots were harvested when a little over thumb sized as after that they start to become a little woody.
In the Kitchen
White Icicle is a mouli/Daikon type raddish which means it can be cooked as well as eaten raw. I often use it as a substitute for water chestnuts in stir fry. If that doesn’t take your fancy then try in Vegetable Spring rolls or raw in Vegetarian Makizushi. They are also very pleasant cut in to matchsticks, lightly salted for a few hours, rince and drain off the water and then tossed in a light pickle of equal parts water, vinegar and sugar. The pickle will last a week or so in the fridge. Radish is also used in the making of kimchi.
Yield and Plant Health
Being a daikon type you get a little more yield than your normal salad radish but White Icicle will not grow to the very large roots that you see for winter storage. White icicle is not immune to flee beetle as you can see from the photos but wan’t crippled by it, other than that they were trouble free.
How to Grow
Radish are quick to grow and quick to bolt (flower). You can sow them from early spring to autumn, wherever you have a little space. To give them the longest growing season you can, sow a couple of seeds 1.5cm deep in stations 15cm apart. Water gently and keep soil lightly damp until germination. Only sow as much as you could eat in a few weeks. Water well and once the radish sprout thin out the weaker seedling. Radish will be ready from four weeks after sowing
If the radish do bolt then you can use them for a second crop. The seed pods are edible and can be eaten raw or lightly steamed or fried.