sweet & sour glazed radishes

radishes-with-heads-cut-offsweet-and-sour-radish-for-webIf any of you have ever dined at my home, you probably have eaten these before the meal.  They’re a surprising and creative spin on the traditional radish, but I cannot say I was the one who invented them.  I’m just giving you my spin on them.

You see, I got very lucky to be invited by the chef I was working for in France in 2013 to be one of the cooks who went with him to cook at a French dinner event at the Park Hyatt in Shanghai.  His version of sweet and sour radish was what we served with the venison filet mignons.

adding-tamari-to-radish-for-webradishes-washed-on-towelI’ll never forget that trip.  I had never been to Asia, so this was a mind-blowing experience for me even if it was only less than a week.  Of course, other than exploring the city, the dinner we cooked was for some clients with very high expectations of French cuisine, and out of all of the things we prepared, this was the takeaway for me: sweet and sour glazed radishes.  It’s so easy, yet so divine.  The slight spice from the cooked radish blends absolutely perfectly with the umami and sweetness from the sauce.

Of course my chef used regular soy sauce instead of tamari (tamari is gluten-free and regular is not) and he used honey, which I have exchanged for agave nectar to keep the glycemic idex lower and make them vegan friendly.


Another little tip I picked up from another French chef friend of mine is to pair radish with something fatty.  Like butter.  Or in this case vegan cream.  Since radish is naturally something that cuts fat, they really complement each other.  Kind of like oil and vinegar.

While you don’t have to add the cream, nor is it pictured here, I think it’s nice.  But you could just serve these up with some cute toothpicks and call it appetizer time.

sweet & sour radishes

Serves 10 as appetizer bites, about 4-5 as a side dish
Prep time 3 minutes
Cook time 8 minutes
Total time 11 minutes
Allergy Soy
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot


  • 1 bunch radish (thoroughly washed, stems and leaves cut off)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
  • zest of1/2 an orange
  • salt & pepper to taste


Step 1 If your radishes are small, you don't need to cut them. Otherwise, I recommend cutting them in either halves or 1/4ths. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
Step 2 Add radishes, and reduce heat to medium to avoid burning your oil. Toss every 30 seconds or so, and cook until starting to brown. Immediately deglaze with agave nectar, add lemon zest, and cook for about 30 seconds or until a caramel just starts to form but has not burned. Deglaze again with tamari and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid evaporates a little and it resembles a syrup.
Step 3 Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste if you think it needs it. You can optionally serve with a vegan or regular cream cheese, or some coconut cream if you've let it cool a bit. Delicious to dip these in something creamy!


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