Day 23 – Recipe: M Café’s Umeboshi-Pickled Red Radishes

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I love pickles. Always have, always will. When I worked at M Café de Chaya in Los Angeles, I became obsessed with their Umeboshi-Pickled Radishes. I remember asking Chef Lee Gross how he made them and he told me they were oven-baked. I went home and drowned some radishes in umeboshi vinegar and baked them like he said. They didn’t turn out right, they were shriveled, not glossy and plump like the ones in the restaurant.

During my online search for M Café recipes, I found one for the M Chopped, which included the correct recipe for the radishes. They are braised, not baked. To this day, I have no idea why he told me bake them…. maybe he said braised and I heard baked? I really don’t know. At least now I have the right recipe!

The original recipe calls for 1/2 bunch radishes, I decided to double everything and the radishes turned out too salty. So even with a whole bunch of radishes, you should only use 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

Umeboshi-Pickled Red Radishes

  • 1 bunch red radishes
  • 1 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (Eden Foods brand is the best)
  • Filtered water, as needed

METHOD

  • Trim, wash and dry radishes. Cut into quarters, or eighths, depending on size. Place radishes, cut-side down in a cold skillet.
  • Place skillet over medium heat. Continue to heat until radishes begin to release their moisture, and you can hear them sizzle and see them beginning to dance in the pan.
  • Add the umeboshi vinegar and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, or enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cover the pan.
  • Turn heat to medium-low, and cook for two to three minutes, or until pan is almost dry.
  • Remove lid, and test a radish for doneness by inserting the tip of a knife. The radish should be almost crisp-tender. If it is not, continue to cook for another minute or so. If the pan seems dry, add a splash or two of water.
  • When the radishes are just cooked, remove the lid, turn the heat to high to concentrate and reduce the remaining liquid to one or two tablespoons. Toss the radishes in the ruby red juices to glaze them slightly. Remove radishes from the pan and let cool.

cut radishes in pan:

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cooking radishes:

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finished radishes:

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These radish pickles are a delicious addition to salads, or eaten on their own as a salty, crunchy snack. They are also delicious with the Scarlet Quinoa recipe I posted yesterday.


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3 thoughts on “Day 23 – Recipe: M Café’s Umeboshi-Pickled Red Radishes

  1. Hey Shauna! Its Lee, here. Just stumbled on your blog… and at first glance, I love it. I truly hope you succeed on your ‘mission’ and wish you all the best on your healing journey. And, yes, the ume radishes are, and always were, braised. Did I say baked???

    • Lee!! Oh my goodness, I can’t believe you found my blog that is so crazy. I’ve posted so many of your recipes here, as you can see! Since I moved to AZ I’ve missed M Cafe and all of your recipes so much, soooo much. The only thing I could do was try and recreate your food in my kitchen. And I think I’ve been somewhat successful, Lol. Oh man I was like jumping up and down when I found your benedict recipe. As for the baked/braised thing… I remember you were like crazy busy when I asked you so who knows, I probably should have asked you again when you weren’t so rushed! Anyways, so happy to hear from you, hope you’re doing awesome, and thanks so much for all the recipes!

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