‘Pickled Chrysanthemum Turnips’ is called ‘Kikka Kabu’ (菊花かぶ) in Japan. It is often prepared for the New Year celebration. Small Turnips are prepared and pickled so that they look like Chrysanthemum Flowers. You can use Red Radishes, too. They are just pickled in a simple marinade, but they look pretty, don’t they?


4 Servings


8 Small Turnips OR 1 large Turnip
*Note: Today I used 1 large Turnip. I couldn’t find small ones.
*Note: Red Radishes can be used.

Salt Water
1 cup Water
1/2 tablespoon Salt

4 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 tablespoons Water
2cm Kombu (Kelp) *cut into thin strips
A few slices Chilli *optional

  1. Wash Turnips, cut off the top and bottom. Peel off the skin. *Note: Don’t peel the skin of Red Radishes.
  2. If you use a large Turnip, cut off the top and bottom, then cut into 3cm cubes.
  3. Place a piece of Turnip (OR Radish) on a chopping board, stem side down, and slice 1-2mm thin from one end to the other. To avoid accidentally cutting all the way though, I strongly recommend to place 2 chopsticks on the board.

  4. Turn it 90 degrees, hold the slices together firmly, then slice in the same way. Repeat with remaining Turnip pieces (OR Radishes).
  5. In a bowl, mix Water and Salt. Soak them in this salty water for 1 hour.
  6. *Note: Scraps can be pickled together, or use them for soup or other dishes.
  7. Make the marinade. Combine all the ingredients.
  8. Gently squeeze the softened Turnip pieces (OR Radishes) to remove salt water, and place in a small container that they can just fit in. Pour the marinade over, cover with a lid, and set aside in a cool place or in the fridge overnight OR 1-2 days.
  9. *Note: It’s a good idea to marinate them in a ziplock bag. Keep everything in the bag and remove the air, so that the Turnip pieces (OR Radishes) can stay in this amount of marinade.
  10. To serve, squeeze the marinade, spread the tips to make it look like Chrysanthemum Flower. Add some Chilli OR Yuzu Rind (OR Lemon Rind) slice in the centre.