Are Radishes The New Cauliflower?

Elyse Myers, a content creator on TikTok, has a great line about radishes. “Have you ever thought, ‘Boy, I could go for a potato, but just a little bit less potato-y,’” she says with a shrug. “Radishes.”

She’s holding a bag of bright red radishes. She cuts them into quarters and covers them in olive oil and taco seasoning. “This is what makes them taste like ranch potatoes,” she says. After 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven, she transfers them to an air fryer for another 10. She then serves them with a sauce made from Taco Bell hot sauce and sour cream.

Since this video was posted on March 22, it has garnered 5.4 million views and inspired many other people to recreate the recipe. But what Myers made is nothing new. In fact, if you search #roastedradish or just #radish on TikTok, you’ll get dozens of videos with people cooking the common cherry bell radish in the oven or on the stove, raving about how it’s just a low-carb potato.

“If cauliflower can be rice, can radishes be potatoes?” Janelle Rohner says in a TikTok video. The popular keto content creator posted the video last year, and it has almost 4 million views.

She makes a fair point. Are radishes the new cauliflower?

Over the past decade, health-food circles have fixated on cauliflower, made it trendy, and transformed it into so many things: rice, pizza crust, buffalo tenders, gnocchi, steaks… Entire cookbooks are dedicated to cooking it.

As a perfect replacement for some carb-y ingredients, the keto crowd loved it. And thus cauliflower went from a somewhat forgotten boring crudités staple to a main character and Trader Joe’s mainstay.

Radishes are now going through their own renaissance. No longer are they the colorful yet rarely eaten garnish. Along with the viral French snack of a slab of butter smushed between two raw radish halves and sprinkled with flakey salt, several content creators on TikTok have made their own version of cooked radishes.

Despite its recent popularity on social media, cooking radishes is nothing new. Asian cuisines often incorporate them into hot dishes. “They are used a lot in soups,” said Remy Park of the Veggiekins blog, referring to Japanese and Korean cuisines. “For vegetarian cooking, it does add a nice sweetness to the broth. Garlic, onions, and radish are used for the bulk base. All the flavor naturally comes from the radish.” She has a recipe for Korean Radish Soup that she equates to a chicken noodle soup.

In Germany, radishes are often eaten raw in salad and on sandwiches, but also in cooked dishes that are popular in low-carb and keto diets.”The old-fashion recipes, which were almost gone in the last 20 years, have come back in fashion,” said Angela Schofield of the recipe website All Tastes German. “It was kind of a poor man’s food, but they had a comeback because you can cook them like potatoes.”

So can we expect to see radish rice, radish pizza crust, or a pasta-fied radish next? Maybe. The word radish has slowly increased in search over the past two decades, at a similar rate to cauliflower.

The growing popularity of using radishes as a potato replacement represents exactly what cauliflower replacing carbs did. It’s a healthier alternative to something decadent, but it’s also a lackluster, less delicious version of what you are actually craving. It’s not the same and shouldn’t be treated as such.

“They are more watery than potatoes, and they are never going to have that fluffy texture potato has,” Lena Abraham, Senior Food Editor, said. It makes sense why Elyse Myers covered them in hot sauce and mayo and taco seasoning. Here’s my two cents: Don’t expect a potato when you roast a radish. Instead, appreciate the radish for what it is. A spicy when raw, mild when roasted vegetable that’s especially perfect in soup.

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