There are so many beautiful veggies, but in our opinion the watermelon radish takes the cake! With it’s gorgeous pink starburst center, this Daikon heirloom radish adds pizzazz to almost any dish. It has a mild peppery taste, so despite its name, it’s not sweet. Watermelon radishes are fantastic for salads, for garnishes, and charcuterie boards, but you ever tasted a watermelon radish pancake? We have had all sorts of veggie cakes, with zucchini, leek, and potato being some of our favorites, but never had we tried radish pancakes before our last dining experience at Lenoir, one of our favorite Austin restaurants! And, as we do, we went home and recreated this delicious dish using grated watermelon radishes. We tossed in some green onions, shallots, cilantro, wasabi sesame seeds and Trader Joe’s Cassava Cauliflower Blend Baking Mix, which is gluten-free and perfect in this recipe! You’ll want to give these a try!
Whenever you make veggie pancakes, it’s important to wring out the excess water from the grated vegetable if you are using high water-content veggies like zucchini, radishes, or even potatoes. Do this before adding the rest of the ingredients. We always used cheese cloth or a light dish towel, but lately we discovered that the white mesh produce bags with the drawstring make the perfect vehicle for wringing out the vegetables. They are perfect for this and then you can toss them in the washing machine when you are done. Be sure to dump out any excess grated veggies before you clean them or your washing machine will become a compost pile!
Once you have the veggies grated and wrung out, start adding the other things you like, such as grated or chopped onions, shallots, chives, garlic, spices, eggs and a little flour to keep them all together. We haven’t tried this yet, but are considering a run at Brussels sprouts cakes! We’ll keep you posted on that!
Watermelon Radish Pancakes
- 4 cups grated Daikon watermelon radishes peel the light outer skin of the radish first and then grate. 3 large radishes yields about 4 cups of grated radish.
- 1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh minced cilantro
- 1 tbsp. fresh minced parsley
- 2 tbsp. wasabi sesame seeds if you cannot find wasabi seeds, either use regular sesame seeds or omit altoghter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/3 cup flour or gluten-free baking mix We used Trader Joe’s Cassava Cauliflower Blend Baking Mix and it’s great in these pancakes!
- 2 large eggs
- Peel the outer layer of skin off of the watermelon radishes. Then grate them on a cheese grater or in the food processor. Once you have them grated, working in batches, place them in the mesh produce bag, or wrap them in cheese cloth and wring out any excess water. This really helps to keep them crisp.
- Place the grated radishes in a large mixing bowl. Add shallots, green onions, cilantro, parsley and sesame seeds. Mix well. Stir in salt, pepper, lemon pepper and baking powder and mix well.
- Add flour and toss with veggies and spices with a large fork, being sure to coat the grated veggies with the flour or baking mix. You don’t want to see any pockets of the flour/baking mix.
- Stir in eggs and mix well.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Coat with olive oil or your favorite cooking oil and spoon pancake batter onto the skillet. These should end up being about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Sear on one side just until beginning to brown and then flip to repeat on the other side. You may need to add a little additional oil for the second side. Once both sides have taken on a nice golden brown (or pinkish brown due to the color of the radishes), reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the center of the pancakes are cooked and heated through. Serve hot.
- We have made these ahead of time and refrigerated them until ready to serve. Reheat in a skillet or by spreading them out on a baking sheet in a 300° F oven until heated and crispy again.