Chinese Radish – Green Meat


Green Meat radishes are easily distinguished by their shape and color. The swollen and elongated taproot is two-toned like several radish varieties, yet it is unique in its coloring. Its upper half near the stem end is lime green colored, and its tapered lower half is cream colored. It can be harvested when as small as five inches or as large as ten inches. Its thick skin covers a green to creamy white flesh which offers a crisp texture and a radish flavor that can vary from mild to hot depending upon growing conditions and maturity.

The Green Meat radish is available in the spring and fall months.

Current Facts
The Green Meat radish (Raphanus sativus) is an heirloom variety radish and a member of the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family along with arugula, broccoli, and turnips. The entire plant is edible, roots and leaves. Green radishes such as the Green Meat can be found sold under a variety of different names including green skinned, tsingato green, Japanese minowase, and Chinense green luobo.

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Nutritional Value
Similar to red radishes, green radishes such as the Green Meat radish contain a significant amount of vitamin C, though less than their red relatives. Green type radishes are higher in carotenoids, proanthocyanidins, and chlorophylls than red varieties. The greens of the Green Meat radish additionally are high in nutrients, even more so than the radish root itself.

The spicy flavor and crisp texture of the Green Meat radish shines in fresh preparations. Slice thin and add to sandwiches, salads or wraps. Use to add a spicy accent to tacos, nachos, and Mexican soups. Slice lengthwise and pair with cream based dips or soft cheeses. Grate and serve as a condiment with sushi or sashimi or add to slaws to give them a spicy kick. In China Green Meat radishes are popularly pickled along with Sichuan peppers. Green Meat radish greens can be added to soups and stir-fries. To store, keep Green Meat radishes refrigerated and used within one to two weeks.

Ethnic/Cultural Info
In China, many radishes such as the Green Meat radish are used in traditional Chinese medicine, believed to promote health and wellness particularly related to the respiratory system. This is reflected in the ancient Chinese proverb which states, “Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors beg on their knees.” Radishes have long held such a high place of esteem in Chinese culture, the Quingdao Radish Festival dates back to the Ming Dynasty nearly 600 years ago and is an annual celebration of the radish and Chinese folklore which encourages eating radish on the ninth day of the lunar new year for good health.

The Green Meat radish is believed to be a relative of a traditional green Chinese radish native to northern China. Originally known by the name Chinese Green Luobo or Qingluobo these green radishes like many other Asian radishes such as the daikon are harvested at a larger size than European radishes. Green radishes are a popular variety in Asian countries and have just in recent years begun to gain in popularity in the United States. Like most radish varieties the Green Meat grows best in mild climates and is not heat tolerant.


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