Warm Orange Glazed Hakurei Turnip Salad
80 Min

Warm Orange Glazed Hakurei Turnip Salad

These delicate little white Japanese turnips have become a fixture of farmer’s markets from New York to California to here in Houston. These days, there is a mountain of them at the prolific Plant-it-Forward table stand, a must stop on my weekly trip to the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. They can be eaten raw, shaved in salads, dipped into a tangy sauce, or cooked in a stir-fry with rice or noodles. Last week, I decided to slow roast them with spices and orange juice and found them to be so delicious, I had to stop myself from eating them all straight from the pan.

I did not add any more sweetness than the fresh orange juice naturally provided but if you want a true sweet glaze, add a tablespoon or two of sugar. The caramelization intensified the flavor of the turnips and gave them more depth and character. Perched inside a salad, they provided a warm burst of unusual flavor and texture. Do give them a try and be sure to chat with Constant, the Congolese farmer who grows them with great care! 

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Cook Time

80 Minutes



Step 1
Cut the turnips near the tops, reserving green leaves that appear edible. Wash the turnips thoroughly and set aside to dry.
Step 2
In a medium sized frying pan over high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and pop the mustard seeds. Immediately add the turnips and fry on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently until they get some color on all sides.
Step 3
Add the ginger, orange juice and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the frying pan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the turnips have softened.
Step 4
Raise the heat and boil until the orange juice is mostly absorbed. Add the chile powder. Fold in the turnip greens. They will wilt a little but still be delicious.
Step 5
To enjoy them in a composed salad, arrange the lettuce in a large platter or individual little plates. Cut the skin of the oranges and slice them into segments and arrange on the lettuce. Place the warm turnips on the salad greens and scatter the toasted almonds on top.
Step 6
Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and squeeze the lemon juice over the entire salad. Serve immediately.

4 bunches of Hakurei turnips (roughly 20-22)

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 tablespoon peeled minced ginger

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon salt

Generous pinch chile powder

2 medium oranges

1 bunch red or green leaf lettuce

2 tablespoons sliced toasted almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

Notes & Variations

  • The turnips can be made a day or two ahead, refrigerated and can also be served cold.
  • Instead of making this composed salad, toss the glazed turnips with 4 to 5 stalks of thinly sliced celery and turn it into more of a tossed salad. Add the almonds, lemon juice and olive oil. This salad will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
  • The black mustard seeds are not essential, but they do add a nice heat to the turnips. Eliminate entirely or replace with cumin, fennel, or coriander seeds.
80 Min


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