Radishes are one of the fastest-growing vegetables: after only 4 short weeks you can enjoy their crisp, spicy fruit. But what if you planted more than you could eat, or got busy and forgot to harvest them at the right time? This is what happened to us this year and I decided to let our radishes bloom to invite bees and butterflies to our garden. Then, just a short while later, I saw hundreds of seed pods and wondered: are radish seed pods edible?
After a quick search, a new world of possibilities opened to me and now I’m excited to experiment with these delicious treats from the vegetable garden.
What Are Radish Pods?
As I mentioned before, they are just the seed pods of the radish plant that has flowered and then gone to seed. You can harvest these seed pods when they’re young and add them to your meals (scroll down to see how to use radish seed pods) or let them dry up and save seeds for the next season.
This year is the first time we discovered that the green seed pods are just as delicious as the radishes themselves. And instead of just one radish, you can enjoy hundreds of these seed shells. you bet I’m going to intentionally let a few of my radishes go to seed, so I can enjoy this delicatessen.
All radish varieties produce seedpods that are edible if picked early enough, but there’s one radish type, called rat’s tail, that produces the best seed pods (get rat’s tail radish seeds from Amazon).
What do radish seedpods taste like?
So what do these seedpods taste like? They taste just like radishes, but a little milder, and not as spicy, which is perfect in my opinion. Definitely worth a try 😉
How do you harvest radish seed pods?
Your radish plants will grow to about 3 feet tall if you don’t harvest them for the radish root. The flowers are small and either white or light purple, or white with purple streaks. Once the flowers start turning into elongated seed pods, you can start harvesting them: this is when they’ll be most tender. I personally would wait a few days and pick them as they grow a bit bigger and fleshier. Of course, don’t wait too long, because they’ll get tough and woody if you wait too long.
If you realize you waited too long, just let them dry and save the seeds for your next crop 😉
Stagger planting a handful of radish varieties and leave a couple of radishes out of each planting to mature into crisp radish pods for a steady supply through the summer and fall, a bonus harvest for your family.
Washed and dried, the yummy seed shells will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week.
What Can You Do With Radish Seed Pods?
So, if your radishes have bolted, don’t despair: just wait until you see the seed shells forming and pick some to enjoy with your next meal. Here are a few ways to use radish pods:
- eat a few fresh straight off the plant
- add them to salads
- make pickled radish pods
- add them to stir-fries
- roast them
- add them to curries
- fold them into your omelet
- include them in soups
- add them to your compost pile if you didn’t harvest them soon enough
I air-fried a small batch of these pods (tossed with salt and oil), and while they were OK, I didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought. They became too dry and chewy. A few of the pods got burned a bit, and I liked those the best. Here they are as I was taking them out of the air fryer.
Watch for bug eggs when you clean your pods. We found Harlequin bug eggs on some of our pods. Very interesting eggs!
While the eggs were easy to remove, to be on the safe side, I discarded those pods. Our chickens were very happy to receive the yummy treats!
My Favorite Radish Seeds
Check out these radish seeds for some fun delicious radish roots and pods:
So, Are Radish Seed Pods Edible?
As you can see, radish seeds are not only edible but also delicious and versatile. From now on, make sure to let a few of your radish plants from each planting bolt and enjoy the added bonus harvest they will produce. Experiment with adding the pods to your meals and let me know if you come up with a great new use for them 😉
Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check your her books below: