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Can You Eat Korean Radish Raw?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

It is perfectly okay to eat Korean radish raw. Actually, it’s a very good source of vitamin C and folate, among other health benefits. One thing to keep in mind is that the flavor of raw Korean radish is a lot spicer than when cooked.

Korean radish is a lot different from the red radishes you would eat in an American salad. Radishes from Korea come in a variety of different sizes and colors. They are usually bigger and it’s very common for them to be green on top. Most people use Korean radishes in dishes served hot.

However, many people wonder if you can east Korean radish raw, similar to the red radishes used in the West. If you enjoy the spicy flavor of raw radishes, then you may really enjoy eating Korean radishes when they’re served raw.

On this page, we’re going to discuss everything you should know about eating raw radish. We’ll discuss which type of Korean radish can be eaten raw and what it can do for your nutrition. Leep reading to learn more.

Do You Have to Peel Korean Radish?

Peeling a Korean radish is very easy by simply using a vegetable peeler. The radish skin is very thin, so it is easy to chew and adds to the crunchy fun of eating a raw radish. Many people prefer to peel the radish before using them, especially when they are used in stir-fries, soups, and stews.

Peeling a radish is a personal preference. As long as you fully wash the radish before using it, you don’t have to peel it first. A lot of people prefer to leave the skin on radish because a lot of the zesty spicy flavor is in there.

If you peel a radish but do not use it all at once, make sure the leftover slices are sealed in a bag or airtight container.

This will preserve the freshness so you can still enjoy the radish with your next meal. They can be used in many Korean and Western meals, including your favorite side dish.

Do recipes require you to peel the Korean radishes?

Radish is a very healthy ingredient to use in many dishes, raw or cooked. Every recipe is different from the next, and some may require you to peel and rinse the radish before preparing the recipe.

When making kimchi, a very popular Korean food, you will be required to peel the radish first. This dish consists of Korean radishes that have been salted and fermented.

People can add spices to get the flavor they desire. This process works best when the radish has been fully peeled first.

Why Is Korean Pickled Radish Yellow?

Korean pickled radish is a crunchy treat that many people look forward to making when they harvest radish.

While most radishes are white, they turn yellow once they have been pickled. This isn’t the radish itself that’s turned yellow, but another ingredient in the mixture that’s dying it.

Turmeric is a popular ingredient in pickled radish that is also very beneficial for personal nutrition. This spice is naturally a very vivid yellow color and it does tend to stain almost everything it comes into contact with.

When you make a batch of pickled radish, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Rice vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Sugar
  • Garlic cloves
  • Turmeric
  • Peppercorn
  • Bay leaves
  • Korean radishes

When you make pickled white radish, you should keep in mind that the vegetable won’t be the only thing that turns yellow. Turmeric does have a tendency to stain nearly everything it comes into contact with.

If you happen to get yellow stains on your clothes or countertop, you don’t have to worry because it comes clean easily.

You shouldn’t skip the turmeric when making pickled radish because there are many health benefits of using this spice. Turmeric contains many essential minerals that your body needs, like potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.

Taste Korean Radish vs. Daikon

Many people get Korean radish mixed up with daikon radishes. The daikon radish is actually a Japanese radish. If you have been mixing these two radishes up, you can be forgiven because their flavors are nearly identical.

Daikon radish is less crunchy than the Korean radishes. Since Korean radishes are firmer, they have a better crunch, especially when served raw.

Raw daikon is also full of health benefits, like Vitamin C. Since the daikon radish is so similar to Korean radishes, they can easily be swapped for each other in recipes.

While these radishes are very similar, they do have a few key differences setting them apart from one another. As mentioned above, Korean radishes are quite spicy in flavor when eaten raw.

The radish daikon is not quite as spicy and has a slightly sweeter flavor. Daikon radishes don’t have a strong peppery taste like the Korean ones do.

Spotting the differences between Korean and daikon radish

When you cook with Korean or daikon radish, it’s very easy to substitute one for the other without a big difference in flavor. However, it’s very easy to spot the differences between these two vegetables.

Korea’s radishes come in different shapes and colors. The most commonly used one is the white radish. These radishes are small round bulbs. A daikon radish looks a lot different. They are longer, skinnier, and all white. Daikon radish is more similar in shape to a carrot.

Is Daikon Radish the Same as Korean Radish?

Daikon radish and Korean radish are both interchangeable for many dishes, so this leads people to believe they are the same. Flavor-wise, they are very similar, except raw daikon is less spicy. However, there are still many differences that set these two types of radishes apart.

Different appearance

We discussed the appearance of the radishes above. It’s very easy to spot the differences just by looking at the two radishes. The daikon radish looks like a long white carrot, where radishes from Korea are plumper like a tomato with traces of green at the top.

A daikon will be white all the way through, where you will notice more green in the Korean radish vegetable.

Grows in different regions

One of the main things that set these two vegetables apart from one another is where they originate from. Daikon is not from Korea. It originates from East Asia and is most commonly grown in Japan and China. However, it is now available internationally so people are growing it in Western and UK regions.

Different textures

Both of these vegetables can be used in any recipe that calls for a winter radish vegetable. While both choices are incredibly healthy, there is a slight difference in texture. Korean radish/ white radish is crunchier than daikon. This is why it works better in raw dishes.

Since daikon is a slightly softer vegetable than white radish, people will not experience that same crispy crunch when they bite down. However, since it is slightly softer, many people prefer using daikon for kimchi side dish.

Nutritional benefits

Korean radish is a great source of Vitamin C, dietary fibers, iron, potassium, and calcium. These health benefits are more present in the radish when eaten raw.

While daikon is also a healthy source of C vitamin, it also gives your body a good dose of calcium, folate, magnesium, and even a small amount of protein.


Korean radish is completely safe to eat raw. It has many health benefits, which actually makes it a good choice to enjoy raw. Many people enjoy it with a splash of soy sauce to add extra flavor. Raw radish is a necessary ingredient for the popular Korean dish kimchi, which is consumed all around the world.

All types of radishes are perfectly fine to eat raw. They can be used in many salads, stir fries, and other tasty side dishes to increase the flavor and nutritional content. Most radishes are mild to taste but do have a slightly spicy flavor that is often described as peppery.

When eating raw radishes, you don’t have to peel them. However, some people do because a lot of the spicy flavor is in the peel. If you don’t enjoy the peppery flavor, you may prefer to peel them first. When it comes to eating Korea’s radishes, there are many options on what you can do. They always taste delicious served both raw or cooked.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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