Finely slice radish in a grid leaving the bottom intact and just marinate in sweet vinegar marinade. Pickled Chrysanthemum Radish is a great garnish for grilled fish or sautéed meat and it’s also a great side dish - even for a bento box. I have included the ingredients and steps to make Pickled Chrysanthemum Turnip (Kikka Kabu) as well.
Total Time does not include the time to soak the vegetables in salty water or marinating time, both of which are included in Custom Time.
Custom Time is based on the time to marinate radishes. If using turnips, Custom Time becomes 8 hours 20 minutes.
Add salt to 300ml water in a bowl or a zip lock bag and mix well to dissolve.
Cut the leafy end of radish/turnip to make it flat so that the radish can sit steadily, cut side down. If there is a long root attached to the radish, trim it.
Slice turnip vertically at 2mm thick intervals from one end to the other, leaving 5mm (a bit less for radish if possible) uncut at the bottom (see note 4 for tricks).
Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. If using radish, marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes (note 6). Marinate overnight if using turnip.
To serve, squeeze marinade out of the radish/turnip, spread the tips of the surface to make it look like chrysanthemum petals. Place it with the connected side at the bottom with a piece of lemon/chilli slice in the centre.
1. There were 8 radishes in my bunch. Try to buy a bunch with similar size radishes. The number of lemon rind pieces depends on how many radishes you have.
2. I used 3 turnips - two that weighed 95g and one 50g. The large turnips are cut into quarters after making criss-crosses. Make a cross incision at the bottom, then place the both thumbs in the incision to break it into quarters.
3. Use Konbu Dashi to make the dish vegetarian.
4. Place bamboo skewers (or two chopsticks for turnips) on a cutting board. If you want, place two rubber bands around the cutting board to secure skewers/chopsticks. Then place a radish/turnip between them (see step-by-step photos in post).
While slicing both ends of the radish, you can’t rely on the skewers as the knife reaches the bottom of the radish before hitting the skewers/chopsticks. You need to judge where to stop cutting. After a couple of slices, you should be OK to cut through until the knife hits the skewers/chopsticks.
5. Hold the sliced ends with your thumb and index finger tightly, then slice it in the same way. If you don't hold the sliced ends, you will not be able to cut them properly.
6. You can marinate the radish longer than 30 minutes, even overnight. However, the colour of the radish starts fading and stains the marinade resulting in the white part of the radish turning pink. Although the distinction between the red and white colours is lost, I think the pinkish chrysanthemum radish is also pretty.