“The Devil’s bunions.” “Beelzebub’s balloons.” “Backpfeifengesicht!” No matter what you call radishes in your country, I think we can all agree there’s something a little off about this root “vegetable.” Burning bright red, as if ashamed of its own existence, the radish gives the distinct impression that if you asked it whether it wanted to use animal labor in its production, it’d be like, “Yeah, sure.” As such, here’s five vegan replacements that give you the same fresh crunch without being just the worst.
- Water Chestnuts- a chestnut with a skincare routine, a fruit gusher with a conscious, these hydrated hemispheres have long toiled as the overlooked star of fried rice. No more! This vegetable grows in marshes, under water, in Asia, Africa, and Oceania; radishes could never.
- Baby Corn- Wet? Check. Crunchy? Depends. Cute? Get outta town!!! Baby corn is the vegetable your radish wishes it had taken home from the hospital. Gazing up at you with a thousand innocent eyes, this stir-fry sweetheart will make you rethink the ethics of eating food at all.
- Rutabaga- what this vegetable lacks in “texture,” “taste,” or “availability,” it more than makes up for in personality. I mean, that name!?! I think you need a trained dog to find one, but don’t worry, he likes it.
- Parsnip- a parsnip has the same pointy tail as a radish, but it just feels way less accusatory; “You made a mistake, but you can learn from it!,” parsnip says. These flesh-colored sticks also make the perfect fake finger; “Dad!” says Jimmy. “I know that’s just a delicious radish substitute!”
- Calamari- I know what you’re thinking- Isn’t that literally an animal? Well, allow me to remind you that this Mediterranean treat is both zesty and refreshing, that fish used to be the “okay animal,” that calamari only uses the carved-out midsection of a squid while leaving its head and toes intact, and that, most importantly, it’s not a radish. Enjoy 😉
Ramsey Daniels has a B.A. in English from Skidmore College. His work has been published in Weekly Humorist, Points in Case, Robot Butt, Little Old Lady Comedy, Humor Darling, Table Magazine, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. He also performs stand-up comedy and has had the chance to open for national acts such as Shane Torres (Conan) and Chris Porter (Kimmel). He currently resides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.