Radishes are a “fat-dissolving” vegetable, which makes them very good to include with heavy meals, especially ones with lots of oil. Many people think that radishes are spicy and avoid them, especially when they’re raw. In fact, older and larger radishes are generally spicier, so you can select smaller and younger radishes if you prefer their milder taste. If you’re going to cook your radishes, their pepperiness completely disappears.
A plate of Senegalese thiebu djen includes an entire daikon radish, boiled whole and served with a panoply of local vegetables. Boiled, radishes take on a soft, wet texture and are rather tasteless, like boiled turnips. Because of their lightness, they provide a nice counterpart to a vegetable rice or a heavy sauce.
Using radishes, raw or cooked, in the African kitchen is largely a matter of improvisation. Once you’ve tried a few traditional and new dishes with radish, we encourage you to try your own variations with other local ingredients and let us know how it goes (firstname.lastname@example.org).