Pink colored radish pickles are popular in Korean and Japanese cuisine and are one of my favorite pickles. There are lots of ways to end up with delicious pink radish pickles. You can use a red or purple variety of radish, keep the skin on but cut into slices, and follow the recipe below without any need to add beet. Given several days, the pink pigmentation will diffuse into the brine and color the radish pieces.
I really love using Korean radish or daikon to make my radish pickles, but these are white. So what to do to give them that appealing pink color? As with so many things, beet to the rescue!
This recipe requires one good size daikon (aim for a little over a pound before trimmed and peeled) and yields a packed quart mason jar of pickles. If you want more, double the quantities and use a half gallon jar.
These will stay good for many months in the fridge but after a few months the crunchiness may start to diminish.
Note: You may be familiar that pickled radish usually has a very pungent odor! It can smell gassy. Don’t worry, the flavor is great. Use your judgment when opening indoors. A little tip though is that, unlike other Korean pickles where I typically use 100% rice vinegar, using all or mostly white vinegar will help reduce those odors.
You will need:
- Quart mason jar (or half gallon to double the recipe)
- Knife & cutting board
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Small or medium, saucepan
- Suggested: canning funnel
- 1 large daikon (any daikon over 1 lb.), peeled, trimmed, and cut into discs or rectangles; may substitute with Korean radish
- 1-2 thin slices beet (~15g)
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (or sub with white vinegar)
- 1 cup filtered or distilled water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp pickling salt
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 finger ginger (~7g), sliced
1.) Peel and trim the daikon. Due to the naturally round edges of the daikon, round discs may be cut. Or, cut the rounded sides off the daikon and cut the daikon into smaller rectangular chunks. From there, thin slice them into 1″ x 2″ rectangular slices (as shown in the featured photo).
Note: If Korean radish is used, they will typically be too large to cut into discs for jar size. It is recommended to follow the method for making thin rectangles. The radish may need to be cut down the middle length wise, followed by cutting off the rounded edges, to do so.
2.) Place the garlic, ginger, and beet slice(s) into the jar, followed by the cut up radish. Set aside.
3.) In the saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a minute. Using the (suggested) canning funnel, pour the brine over the filled jars. Seal tightly, allow to cool, then refrigerate. Allow several days to a week for the flavors to fully penetrate and the color to fully infuse each radish piece.