The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where we talk you through the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.
When I’ve got a ton of radishes, whether from a spontaneous springtime haul when they look especially enticing, or leftovers from pickling a bunch of daikon, it often feels like I end up with more radish greens than radishes. That’s when I turn to a Taiwanese classic.
Radish green stir-fry, Xue Li Hong (雪梨紅), is eaten all over Taiwan in restaurants and night markets. While admittedly not as popular as beloved beef and noodle soup or scallion pancakes, it’s incredibly forgiving for home cooks: You don’t need a wok, and you don’t need to stress over lots of chopping. Like so many Taiwanese dishes, from classic three-cup chicken to tomatoes and eggs, it relies on just a few flavorful ingredients.
Radish greens, for the uninitiated, are mildly peppery, similar to arugula, but a little hardier. And when prepared simply, with just some light seasoning and fluffy eggs, it’s homey, comforting, about as easy and versatile as dishes come.
Taiwanese cooks like my mom love this recipe because it uses up an abundant part of an ingredient you normally would throw away—especially if you’ve got a spring CSA box or farmers market bounty. Because it’s cooked, the stir-fry keeps well in the fridge for days—for late-night snacks, lunch boxes, and speedy dinners with noodles or rice.
How to make Stir-Fried Radish Greens:
Clean the grit and dirt from 3 bunches of radish leaves, then roughly chop. You should have 2–3 heaping cups chopped radish greens. In a large skillet, heat a splash of vegetable oil over high heat. Add 2 smashed and peeled garlic cloves. Add the radish leaves and toss around the pan for about 3 minutes, adding a splash of water or Shaoxing wine as you notice browning on the bottom of the pan. Once the greens are wilted, push them to the perimeter and create a well in the middle of the pan. Add another splash of oil before cracking in 2 eggs and scrambling. Continue to toss, adding water if it gets too dry or starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Season with ground white pepper and soy sauce, to taste. In Taiwan, radish leaf stir-fry is often made with salt-cured radish leaves, so you can be liberal with the soy sauce and seasoning. Serve with steamed rice.