Radish Chicharrones

This vegetarian take on chicharrónes is fresh, zesty, and full of flavor.  

Radish Chicarrones
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

You might have done a double-take, but yes, you read that right: radish chicharrónes. Chicharrónes, traditionally a snack made from double deep-fried pork skin, inspired this fresh vegetarian dish. Fried radishes with delightfully crispy edges are tender inside and smothered in a bright salsa verde made with tomatillos, fried onions, and spicy serrano chiles. Hot tip: don't overcrowd the pan when you're frying as it will cause the oil temperature to drop. Keep monitoring the temperature, adjust the heat as needed, and let the oil come back to the right temperature in between batches.


  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • ½ white onion, cut into 1/2-in. wedges

  • 4 serrano chiles, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and seeded

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ½ cup raw walnut halves and pieces

  • 1 ½ pounds radishes, quartered (about 6 cups)

  • 2 medium tomatillos (about 4 oz. total), husked and quartered

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

  • cup parsley leaves and tender stems

  • cup basil leaves and tender stems

  • cup mint leaves and tender stems

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high until an instant-read or candy thermometer registers 350°F. (If you don't have a thermometer, dip a wooden spoon handle into oil; it's hot enough when steady bubbles form around handle.)

  2. Carefully add onion and chiles; fry, adjusting heat as needed to maintain temperature, until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add walnuts to hot oil; fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 90 seconds. Transfer to baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Working in 2 batches, fry radishes in hot oil, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  3. Combine 1/4 cup water, tomatillos, lime juice, parsley, basil, mint, garlic, honey, half of fried onions and chiles, half of fried walnuts, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a blender. Process on medium-low until salsa is almost smooth, about 45 seconds.

  4. Combine radishes and remaining fried onions, chiles, and walnuts in a large bowl. Spread half of salsa on a serving dish and top with radish mixture. Serve with remaining salsa.

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