The red radish is an afterthought. A colorful garnish or peppery accessory to a salad but seldom the star of the show. This strikes me as a great injustice. After all the radish is brightly colored, pleasingly plump, crunchy, and distinctively flavored. It’s not boring, offensive or unwelcoming. It doesn’t deserve to be ignored.
I will make it my mission in life to rectify this injustice. The problem is that radishes lose their crunch and peppery flavor when you cook them. Boredom looms. But with just enough heat they acquire a pleasing nutty/earthy flavor that pops when you pair them with caraway seeds.
So here is the launch of the Radish Redemption Project. Plenty of citrus and ginger, some soy to provide umami depth, and gently roasted radishes enhanced by the pungent notes of caraway make a fascinating sauce for buttery pan-fried fish.
Recipe is below the fold.
8 radishes, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoon olive oil (divided use)
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
4 fish filets, mildly flavor such as tilapia or halibut
2 tablespoons butter
cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice radishes in half, pole to pole, then place the cut side down and cut each half into thirds. (Each radish is cut into 6 equal portions)
3. Toss sliced radishes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Reserve. (Radishes should still have some crunch but lose their raw flavor. Be careful not to overcook)
4. Warm olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft.
5. Add ginger and cook briefly then add citrus juices soy sauce, honey, caraway seeds, and cumin and stir. When sauce begins to simmer reduce heat to low then cover so the sauce does not reduce too much.
6. Pat fish dry and put seasoned flour on a dish or pan
7. Heat frying pan to medium high and melt butter (be careful not to burn the butter)
8. Dredge fish in flour and fry in frying pan until fish is lightly browned and cooked through. (If your frying pan is too small for 4 filets, cook them 2 at a time and keep warm in the oven.)
9. While fish is cooking, adjust consistency of the sauce if necessary, add radishes to the sauce and increase the heat briefly so they will warm.
10. To serve, distribute sauce on plates with radishes on the border, top with fish filet and garnish with cilantro.