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Pickled Watermelon Radish

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Pickled watermelon radish is one of those foods that needs to be in my life more. It definitely needs to be in my fridge more. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a big treat! And there’s no going back. 😉

This recipe for refrigerator pickled watermelon radish is delicious and easy, and only takes 30 minutes. Pickled watermelon radish has a mild, zesty spiciness with the perfect amount of crunch and flavor.

Fresh slices of watermelon radishes, lemon and watermelon radish in background
Super thin slices of a watermelon radish

If you want a bit of zing in your salad, sandwich or charcuterie board (and really, who doesn’t?), look no further. Plus, that bright magenta hue is reason enough to make pickled watermelon radish- it adds a refreshing pop of color and pizazz to any dish!

what is watermelon radish?

Watermelon radish is a type of heirloom Chinese daikon radish, also known as Rooseheart, red daikon, or red meat radish. The radishes are crispy in texture, similar to other radish varieties, and are enjoyed in the same way!

How do you eat a watermelon radish? Chop them up in a salad, slice them up in a vegetable tray or show off their lovely color with a beautiful dish like this watermelon radish and goat cheese crostini!

Overhead view of pickled watermelon radishes
Savory and sensational pickles!

how to pickle watermelon radish

Pickled watermelon radish is so easy and the brine is made up of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! Here’s what you need:

  • water
  • rice vinegar
  • sugar
  • kosher salt (not table salt)
  • mixed peppercorns
  • bay leaves
  • lemon rind 
  • fresh watermelon radishes (about one pound)

Next, we explain how to pickle watermelon radish by summarizing the main steps in the process, but don’t forget to scroll all the way down to check out the recipe card for all the details!

To make the brine:

  1. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar and salt is dissolved. 
  2. Remove from heat, stir in the peppercorns, bay leaves and the lemon rind and cool the mixture to room temperature.

Do you peel watermelon radish?

Yes, you should peel the radish for this recipe. Slice off the top and the root-tail of the radish and peel with a standard vegetable peeler. Then slice the radishes paper-thin into rounds (we recommend using a mandoline). If the radishes are larger than your container, cut them in half before slicing.

To make pickled watermelon radish

  1. Place a third of your sliced radishes in a jar or container, pour 1/3 of the brine mixture, and repeat (in thirds) until the jar is full. Make sure the radishes are completely covered with the brine.
  2. Cover the jar with a lid and let the radishes soak in the brine for at least 30 minutes before eating!

Possible Substitutions

We used rice vinegar in this recipe but you can easily swap it for any mild-flavored vinegar. Here are some great options…

  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • White wine vinegar.
  • Distilled vinegar.
  • Champagne vinegar.
Jar of pickled watermelon radish and serving fork
Quick pickled watermelon radish slices

are watermelon radishes good for you?

Watermelon radishes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and other vitamins and nutrients. Like many veggies, the nutritional value is highest if you eat them raw. You can enjoy pickled watermelon radish and know that it’s great for your health!

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Overhead view of pickled watermelon radishes

Pickled Watermelon Radish

These refrigerator, pickled watermelon radishes are so pretty with their bright magenta color. They are ready to eat in just 30 minutes and have a mildl, zesty spiciness that adds just the right flavor to sandwiches, salads or served on a charcuterie board.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 Pint
Calories: 79kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


For the Brine:

  • 1-⅓ cups water
  • 1-⅓ cups rice vinegar unseasoned
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt not table salt
  • 2 teaspoons mixed peppercorns
  • 2-3 small bay leaves
  • Julienned lemon rind

For the Watermelon Radishes

  • 1 pound watermelon radishes


For the Brine:

  • Combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt In a small sauce pan set over medium heat.  Heat the mixture stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. 
  • Remove from the heat; add the peppercorns, bay leaves and the lemon rind.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

For the Watermelon Radishes:

  • Slice off the top and root-tail of the radishes and peel them with a vegetable peeler.  Slice the radishes paper-thin into rounds.  A mandoline is the ideal tool for this but a food processor with the thinnest blade will also work.  If the radishes are larger than your container cut them in half before slicing.  
  • Place ⅓ of the sliced radishes in a jar or container of your choice.  Pour 1/3 of the brine mixture over the radishes, then continue filling the jar with radishes and brine in ⅓ portions.  
  • Press down on the radishes so they are completely covered with the brine, cover with the jar lid and let the radishes rest for 30 minutes before eating.  
  • These pickled watermelon radishes will keep one week in the refrigerator. 


  • Any type of vinegar can be used: Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, distilled vinegar, champagne vinegar or any mild-tasting vinegar.
  • The radishes can be cut into thin rounds or half-rounds or stack the slices and cut matchsticks.
  • Serve these pickles with crackers and cheese, in sandwiches, grain bowls, or chop into a relish.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Sodium: 650mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating


Friday 21st of February 2020

. I have only tried pickles with cherry radish and it was very tasty, but the gorgeous watermelon radish makes it even more tempting.

Pat Nyswonger

Friday 21st of February 2020

Hi, Angie....I added some to a beef sandwich and loved it! If you see them in the produce aisle or at Farmers' markets, grab some! They have a short growing season. Thanks for your comments.

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