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Snack it up with Lacto-Fermented Radishes and Turnip Roots

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If you’ve never thought about preserving radishes from the garden, this recipe for lacto fermented radishes with turnips might surprise you.

New to fermenting foods? Be sure to read this compilation of frequently asked questions before you get started!


pink fermented radishes in a white bowl with blue pattern

This post is sponsored by Fermentools. They sent me a kit to experiment with. Because I’ve found them to be an excellent and easy way to start fermenting successfully, I’m sharing with you. 

A friend brought over a radish abundance the other day, as well as some turnips. We munched on some raw, but the radishes were much too spicy and strong for us. Not wanting to waste them, I decided to try fermenting them. I found this recipe and modified it to include both radishes and turnips.

fresh red radishes with greens

Related: Banana Peppers: Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe

“Oh, these fermented radishes are good, Mom. You did good with these,” said my youngest (grown) son. Sometimes I really hit one out of the park. Sometimes.

making fermented radishes - sliced radishes in glass jar with cutting board and measuring spoons

Fermented radishes – a radish pickle of sorts

I took the time to layer the red radishes with the white turnips because in my head this would be such a pretty jar of ferments! Like a candy cane! In reality, what happened is that the red leached from the radishes and turned everything the same shade of pink. Also lovely, but not exactly what I imagined.

The radishes completely mellowed out and remained crispy. The turnips were less crispy, but the flavor on both was out of the park wonderful. Tangy and pickle-like with a slight vinegar flavor. I’ll definitely do this again!

Municipal tap water contains chlorine, which can inhibit fermentation, so be sure to use filtered or distilled water instead. A Berkey water filter provides clean water that’s free of toxins. Great for making your drinking water free of chemicals, but perfect for fermentation, too.

RelatedRadish Leaf Pesto

pink fermented radishes in a white bowl with blue pattern

★ Did you make this fermented radishes recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

pink fermented radishes in a white bowl with blue pattern

Fermented Radishes with Turnips

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

If you've never thought about preserving your radish crop, this recipe for lacto fermented radishes with turnips might change your mind.



  1. Dissolve sea salt in water to make brine. Drop garlic into bottom of a wide-mouth, quart-size jar. Layer sliced radishes and turnips in jar.
  2. Pour brine over vegetables to cover, leaving about one inch of headspace. Place a glass weight on top of the vegetables to make sure they remain submerged. This is really important with these particular vegetables - they really wanted to float.)
  3. Cap jars with a Fermentools seal and air-lock. Set aside at room temperature for a week or so. Once fermented to your liking, store in the refrigerator. (Though I have to be honest - mine never made it that far.)


Water: Municipal tap water contains chlorine, which can inhibit fermentation. Be sure to use filtered or distilled water instead. Salt: Salt with iodine or anti-caking agents can inhibit fermentation.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 3Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 203mg

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

8 comments… add one
  • tessa Jul 10, 2015, 7:58 am

    I mentioned this on FB when I saw your post but I thought I’d ask here – have you ever tried combining radishes with something cabbage for a groovy kraut? I really don’t like radishes, although I grow them because they’re so lovely, but I’d like to find a way to eat them. I tried roasting them with other root crops and they still tasted…radish-y. I do love kraut, though!

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 10, 2015, 9:10 am

      I’ve tried roasting radishes and dislike them that way. Fermenting them really mellows out the flavor. I *haven’t tried them in a kraut, but I would. I can also highly recommend the watermelon radish as an option. If you let it grow to 2-3″ diameter (for slicing) the hot/spicy flavor mellows and the radish is a bit sweet. I’ve been growing radishes for years and years, and this is by far the favorite here. So glad I tried it!

  • Emily Dec 16, 2015, 11:52 am

    I’ve been wanting to make this for a while. I recently fermented some celery sticks, using an airlock and I still got mold on the top. Any advice?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 27, 2015, 8:29 am

      Was the celery *above the water line? It needs to be completely covered with brine. (Which is why I love those weights.) The only time I’ve had trouble with mold is when I didn’t maintain ideal conditions.

  • Kris Bordessa Apr 9, 2018, 8:07 pm


  • Gillian Dec 1, 2018, 4:51 pm

    Does T stand for Teaspoon or Tablespoon?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 4, 2018, 2:22 pm

      Capital T is generally tablespoons, but I try to spell it out here. Thanks for pointing that out — I’ve made the edit!

  • Lemongrass Feb 23, 2019, 11:17 am

    Fermented veggies are the best. Sometimes I ferment cucumbers with fresh spearmint leaves. I always do two batches so I can have one the next day and the other one after a week in the fridge.

    tsp/Tsp is for teaspoon

    tbsp is Tbsp for tablespoon

    This the way my mom thought me a million years ago

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