Atsarang Labanos Recipe (Pickled Radish)

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  October 19, 2021

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You might’ve come across pickled radishes – they are a great sour and savory side dish.

In the Philippines, pickled radish is known as Atsarang Labanos. In some Filipino households, the dish is called Atcharang Labanos but both refer to the same thing.

If you shy away from pickling because you think it takes days – let me show you how you can pickle radish with onions and tomato in less than two hours!

I feel the need to share this tasty Filipino recipe with you and trust me, it’s so easy, you only need a few ingredients and a little bit of patience.

Radish is an edible root vegetable and it’s very popular in many Asian cultures – I’m sure you’ve heard of Daikon radish in Japanese cuisine. But, it’s also popular in the Philippines and widely available.

Luckily, they now sell all kinds of radish varieties in America too.

Radishes come in different sizes, shapes, and colors such as white, red, and yellow with round or elongated roots.

Atsarang Labanos is a condiment with a sweet-sour taste that really boosts the flavor of the food which also compliments well with grilled meat, lechon kawali (fried pork belly), seafood, or fried fish recipes.

This dish is very simple and uncomplicated to prepare using some basic pickling ingredients.

Atsarang Labanos Recipe (Pickled Radish)

Atsarang Labanos recipe preparation

Peeled radish is thinly sliced and mixed with chopped onions, vinegar, fresh tomatoes, sugar, and salt.

Then you place all the pickled ingredients in a glass container or jar and eat within a few days maximum.

Well, this is a delicious dish loaded with texture, depth, and color you won’t necessarily expect to come out from just mixing a few common vegetable ingredients.

Atsarang Labanos Recipe (Pickled Radish)

Atsarang Labanos Recipe (Pickled Radish)

Joost Nusselder
Atsarang Labanos is a condiment with a sweet-sour taste that really boosts the flavor of the food which also compliments well with grilled meat, seafood or fried fish recipes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 5 people
Calories 15 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium Daikon Radish thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion
  • 1 ripe tomato sliced into wedges
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup salt

Instructions
 

  • Peel the radish and slice it crosswise into very thin slices.
  • In a large bowl, place the sliced Daikon radish and sprinkle the salt over it.
  • Mix it thoroughly and let it stand for 30 minutes to remove the liquid out of the Daikon Radish.
  • Drain the radish to remove the pungent flavor. You can use your hands to squeeze out the liquids.
  • Cut up the tomato and try to remove as many seeds as you can. Add to the radish.
  • Cut up the onion into thin strips and add it to the bowl too.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, and pepper until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour this mixture onto the radish, onion, and tomato.
  • Transfer it into a glass jar or recipient and let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate.

Nutrition

Calories: 15kcal
Keyword Radish, Vegetables
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Atsarang Labanos cooking tips

Note that you need to let the pickle marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour before you serve it so all the flavors come together. So, once it’s ready, set it aside and wait to serve it.

The vinegar and sugar will create the ideal pickling environment for the ingredients.

Also, you can actually cut the vegetables into very small cubes or use a grater to grate everything into tiny slices. It’s easy to prepare them sliced as I do, it just depends on personal preference.

The actual pickling process takes between 30-60 minutes but it will not taste like pickled gherkins you buy at the store. Fresh pickled veggies are lighter in flavor and crunchier!

Prepare it in advance and then enjoy this flavorful pickled radish salad.

Pickled Radish Recipe

Substitutes & variations

Instead of table salt, you can use rock salt or Himalayan salt.

Also, you can use apple cider vinegar but it does alter the taste a bit.

This is a classic pickled radish dish and there isn’t much variation. In fact, if you change the ingredients you’ll end up with other pickled Filipino salads (like easy eggplant Ensaladang Talong).

There is actually another similar recipe called ensaladang labanos but it’s just Daikon radish salad with some smoked fish or anchovies, apple cider vinegar, onion, and tomatoes.

Some people like to add in some sliced bell pepper and finely minced garlic but the classic recipe doesn’t require this.

How to serve Atsarang Labanos

Atsarang Labanos has a sweet and sour flavor with some savoriness from the onion. It is considered a side dish for some popular Filipino main dishes.

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Favorite Asian Recipes

Usually, pickled radish salad is served with fried fish as it offers a refreshing balanced flavor for the strong fishy taste.

Another popular pairing is pickled radish with lechon kawali. This is pork belly, cut up into cubes and deep-fried in a wok or pan. The fatty pork goes well with the sour pickled vegetables.

In some cases, atsarang labanos is served and eaten as an appetizer before other main dishes.

Atsarang labanos is a vegan and vegetarian-friendly dish and if you want to serve it without meat, you can pair it with steamed rice.

How to store Atsarang Labanos

It’s best to store pickled radish in the fridge for about 3 days, but not longer.

As many people have confirmed, this pickled food is best served fresh and so you should make it in small batches and keep leftovers in your fridge.

Nutritional information

A variety of Radish is now widely distributed around the world and believed to have been domesticated in Europe during the pre-Roman times but almost no archeological evidence is available to regulate their history.

The large white radish or “daikon” is commonly found in East Asia and is called Chinese radish or Japanese radish. In India and Sri Lanka, it is known as “mooli”.

Radish has many nutrients such as Folic and Ascorbic Acid, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, and Riboflavin.

It acts as a powerful detoxifier too, it helps to eliminate toxins and waste and purifies the blood.

This root crop also facilitates digestion, water retention, and fixes constipation because of its composition of indigestible carbohydrates.

It helps a lot for the production of urine, juice from it cures inflammation and the burning feeling during urination.

Here’s another healthy and delicious Filipino salad to try: Pako Fiddlehead Fern Salad Recipe (Paco) 

What is atsarang labanos?

Atsarang labanos is the Tagalog name for pickled Daikon radish. It is basically a sweet & sour pickled radish salad with onions and tomato, pickled for a short time and served as a side dish alongside fried meats and fish or steamed rice.

Daikon radish is an Asian type of long radish. It has a pleasant though slightly pungent taste but when mixed with vinegar and salt, it has a light refreshing flavor that accompanies fried and greasy foods very well.

This dish is very popular in Filipino households because it’s easy to make and only requires basic pickling ingredients so it’s cheap to make.

Takeaway

Next time you’re looking for the most refreshing and easy-to-make healthy side dish, look no further than Atsarang Labanos.

Once you get the Daikon radish, you probably already have everything you need to quickly pickle it and make this sweet, sour and savory combo.

I recommend making some tasty fried or grilled meat or seafood for the family and then serve this salad chilled. It surely won’t go to waste!

Also check out these 6 quick & easy homemade Japanese Gari pickled ginger recipes

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.