Radishes in Chile Oil Sauce | Qiang luo bo

This is a beautiful and stunningly simple dish to rouse the appetite at the start of a meal. Small red radishes are not a traditional Chinese vegetable, but a recent import. This recipe is based on a recipe for home cooking, Ji ben jia chang cai (Basic Domestic Dishes).–Fuchsia Dunlop

LC Agggggrrrrression Tamer Note

Radishes doused with authentic Szechuan chile oil? Seems destined to be a guaranteed conversation starter. It also seems destined, surprisingly, to be a guaranteed aggression releaser. You’ll understand as soon as you read the first step of the instructions.

Radishes in Chile Oil Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 bunches small red radishes, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chile Oil, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  • 1. Lightly smack the radishes with the side of a cleaver or a rolling pin. (The idea is to crack them open, not to smash them to smithereens.)
  • 2. Pile the cracked radishes in a bowl, add the salt, and toss well. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • 3. Combine the sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chile and sesame oils.
  • 4. When you’re ready to eat, drain the radishes—they will have released a fair amount of water—and shake them dry. Pour the chile oil mixture over the radishes and toss to mix well. That’s it. Really. You can go ahead and serve them now.
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