You bought a bunch or two of radishes, and you’re not sure what to do with them or how long they are good for. How long do radishes last?
Or maybe you’ve noticed that the radishes you buy retain good quality for only a couple of days. And you’d like to know if that’s how it’s supposed to work, or if you’re doing something wrong.
Either way, you’re in the right place. In this article, we talk about:
- storing radishes
- storage time of this root vegetable
- signs of spoilage
If you’re looking for advice on either of these topics, read on.
How To Store Radishes
For best results, store unwashed radishes in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag with the greens cut off. For a few extra days of storage, add moist paper towels on top, bottom, and between each layer of radishes.
That’s the gist of it – let’s discuss the details.
When it comes to storage temperature, radishes last much longer in the fridge. That’s where you put them when you get back from the supermarket.
If you plan on eating them the next day, leaving radishes on the counter is okay.
A sealed plastic bag is also a smart choice, as it limits how much water can get out of the bulbs, and how soon they start to go mushy.
Black radishes last for more than a month if you keep them dry. For this variety, a perforated bag works best. ([MF]).
Do you really need to cut off the greens on top?
If you want the radishes to retain quality for longer, cutting them is the optimal choice.
If you’re going to finish the bunch in like 4 days, cutting those greens or not won’t make much of a difference. Or at least that’s what I found to be true.
Even though most people discard the greens, they are edible. If you want to eat them, store them separately in a plastic bag, and consume within 2 to 3 days ([MF]).
Here’s how radishes with greens attached look after 5 days in the fridge in a ventilated bag:
As you can tell, the green are pretty much useless at this point. The bulbs definitely started to go soft, but are still good enough to eat quality-wise.
Should you use moist paper towels to keep the radishes plump and crunchy?
Most articles suggest storing radishes wrapped in moist paper towels to keep the bulbs from losing water. That surely works, but honestly, who’s got the time and discipline to do that every time?
I sometimes feel too exhausted to cut off the greens once I get home with groceries, let alone grab a bunch of paper towels to store radishes the optimal way.
Go with the paper towel trick only if you’ve bought way too many radishes or need them to last about two weeks. If neither is the case, removing the greens and putting the bulbs in a resealable bag is good enough.
If you’re going with paper towels, remember these two things:
- The towels should be moist, not wet. The bulbs should pull moisture from them, not have drops of water all around.
- Check the towels every couple of days and keep them moist. Dry towels don’t do much, so you must make sure they’re always wet.
How Long Do Radishes Last?
Most types of radishes, including the most popular red globe, last for up to two weeks. A couple of days more if you keep them moist with paper towels. Black radishes can last for over a month.
Of course, how long yours will last depends on a bunch of factors, such as:
- if you store those radishes at room temperature or in the fridge
- quality – firm bulbs with fresh green leaves will last much longer than bulbs that are starting to get mushy and their leaves are already wilting
- if you leave the greens on or remove them
- if you keep the bulbs moist with paper towels
I ordered the items on the list by the impact they have on storage time.
Remember: even with the best storage practices you won’t get two weeks of good quality if the bunch you bought is already old and the bulbs are turning mushy.
How To Tell If a Radish Is Bad?
Discard radishes that:
- Have large areas of flesh black. You can cut out some small black dots here and there, but if there’s a big black spot inside when you cut a radish in half, discard the whole bulb. Often such radishes look fine on the outside, and you only see the damaged area when you cut in.
- Have mold growing on the surface or started to rot. If that’s the case, throw out the bulb, and a couple ones that sat nearby, just for safety reasons.
- Smell or look off in any other way. If you think there’s something wrong with the veggie, you’re probably right.
There are also a couple of signs that your radishes are old and the quality isn’t that great. Those are:
- The bulb has shrunk or gone soft. Either one means it’s losing water, and that’s what we’d like to avoid.
- The insides of the radish are pithy. Have you ever seen a radish that has some tiny holes inside? That’s another signs of losing moisture content.
If your radishes show either of these signs, they aren’t bad or spoiled, but the quality is far from perfect. Should you toss them out?
That depends. If you’re trying to impress the friends you’re having over, these are no-go. But for a regular weekday breakfast I find these perfectly alright to eat. Maybe a bit difficult to grate, but that’s about it.
As usual, that’s how I approach this, and you can discard them for quality purposes just as well.