Radishes and turnips are both root vegetables. They look quite similar, except for the fact that radishes are smaller than turnips. If you are shopping in a hurry, you might also mistake one for the other. Both the vegetables belong to the Brassicaceae. The nutritional content is somewhat similar as well. They have high water concentration and low-calorie content.
Difference Between Radish and Turnip
- The main difference between radishes and turnips is their taste. Raw turnip is mildly spicy, crunchy, and sweet, whereas raw radish is crispy, peppery, zesty, and slightly sweet.
- When radish matures, it becomes spicier and spicier. When turnips mature, they become spicy as well. But they also become more starchy and bitter. Older radishes are sweeter than the younger ones, whereas the younger turnips are sweeter than the older ones.
- When you cook turnip, its flavors get intensified, whereas when you cook radish, its spiciness reduces.
- Radishes become ready to harvest in nearly 22 days, whereas turnips become ready to harvest in a minimum of 60 days.
- Radishes are less prone to various plant diseases as compared to turnips.
- Round turnips are bigger than round radishes. The skin or top color of a round radish is reddish, whereas round turnips have a creamy-white skin color, and their top color is purple.
- The water concentration of radish (95%) is slightly higher than that of turnip (93%). 67mg of sodium is present in 100gm of turnip, whereas 100gm of radish contains 39mg of sodium. The potassium content of radish is 233mg and that of turnip is 191mg. The sugar content of radish is 1.9gm and that of turnip is 3.8gm.
Is It Possible to Substitute Radish for Turnip in Recipes?
Yes, it is possible to substitute radish for turnip and the other way around. As they fall under the same plant family, their composition, texture, and taste are somewhat similar. That is why they blend in your dishes and add a similar flavor to your dish. You just need to be aware of the age and type of radish or turnip you are going to use. That is because the amount of spiciness, bitterness, and sweetness of your dish can be regulated based on that.
When to Use Radish?
Radishes can be used in various dishes. You can chop the radish and combine other ingredients for making a crunchy and leafy salad or add other ingredients and cook them for preparing a dish. Here are some ideas:
- You can season the spiral radishes with chives and salt. This goes well with beer.
- You can use raw radishes for making good dips and dressings, as they are peppery. Finely grate the radish and blend in with some herbs and crème cheese. Lastly, do some seasoning and serve.
- You can also boil the radish in ginger and scallions or braise it in the broth for serving with roasted meat.
- You can also serve pan-seared radish. You just need to season the radish and use butter or olive oil. Cook for a few minutes, until it sweetens and softens.
- In case you are looking for some natural diuretic, you can go for the freshly squeezed radish juice. You can also blend some other fruits in.
- Lastly, you can make a radish paste, and then use it for treating several skin issues like insect bites, rashes, and allergies.
When to Use Turnip?
Turnips can be used in various dishes. They can either be used cooked in a dish or fresh in a salad. Here are some ideas:
- You can saute some turnip cuts in butter and garlic. Try seasoning them with herbs and then bake for about 20 minutes.
- You can simply roast them. Slice the turnip and season the slices with pepper and salt. Drizzle olive oil and then pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- You can also try mashing the turnips or panfrying the turnip slices until they turn golden. You can use it as a side dish with grilled or cooked meat.
- You can also braise turnips in herbs and vegetable stock. You just need to wait for a few minutes, until the turnip becomes crispy and soft.
- You can also make turnip pickles. The turnip slices need to be submerged in the rice vinegar and mixed with some salt and sugar. Then you need to allow them to ferment. They go well with sandwiches.
- Turnip greens or green leaves are very nutritious. The smaller leaves need to be boiled and then seasoned. Their taste is like mustard greens. In the case of larger leaves, you need to boil them separately for removing the bitterness.