Pickled radishes with ginger & chilli

Preserve crunchy radishes in tangy spiced vinegar for a delicious addition to a salad or Asian-inspired main dish

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:10 mins
    plus overnight brining
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 19
  • fat 0g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 3g
  • sugars 3g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 1g
  • salt 0.9g


  • 1kg radishes
  • 140g coarse crystal sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 10 cloves
  • few pieces of mace blades
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 700ml white wine vinegar
  • 150g white sugar
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 sliced red chilli


Sterilising jars and equipment

Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water, rinse, then place on a baking tray and put in a low oven for 10 mins or until completely dry. If you want to use rubber seals, remove the seals and cover in just-boiled water. Make sure you sterilise any funnels, ladles or spoons you’re going to be using too. All equipment must be sparklingly clean before you begin, to eliminate bacteria or yeasts from the equation.

Choose the right vinegar

For pickles to last in the jar, the vinegar must be 6% acidity. White wine and malt vinegars are 6%, but cider vinegar has slightly lower acidity, so is more suitable for chutneys.

Choose the right salt

Do not use table salt for pickling, as the anti-caking agents can give a cloudy, discoloured result. Look for either coarse crystal or coarse grain salt. 

Cover the veg

Allow a few centimetres of space at the top of the jar and make sure the vegetables are well-covered in vinegar. A pestle or the end of a rolling pin is ideal for pushing the veg down into the vinegar. 

Storing the pickles

When salted or brined and pickled, and kept in a cool, dark place, these pickles should last, unopened, for several months. Softer vegetables, such as beans and cucumbers, are most likely to go soggy sooner, as they are the most watery.


  1. Trim the radishes and halve any larger ones. In a large bowl, mix the coarse crystal sea salt with 300ml boiling water and let it dissolve to make a brining solution. Add 1.2 litres cold water, then the radishes. Cover and leave to soak overnight, then rinse and drain.

  2. To make the pickling vinegar, put the whole spices in a medium saucepan. Toast over a low heat until they begin to smell aromatic. Add the dried chilli flakes last, as these can easily catch. Add the bay, pour in all of the vinegar and sugar, let it dissolve, and bring to a simmer. Add the ginger and red chilli.

  3. Pack the radishes into sterilised jars (see tip below), pour over the hot vinegar, then seal. Ready to eat in 2 weeks, or longer, if you like.

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