What are Tokyo Turnips?

What are Tokyo Turnips?

When we think of turnips, we picture a larger bulb vegetable, mostly white with some purple on the top, and something we roast or steam for an earthy tasting side dish.  Tokyo turnips are different.  They look and taste unlike most of the other 30 varieties of turnips.

Tokyo turnips, or Japanese turnips, are smaller, and all white.  You might even mistake them for a radish.  Though when you bit into them, you’ll notice the milder flavor.

How to Cook


turnips in soup

Though it’s less common with the larger turnip varieties, Tokyo turnips are tasty raw- sliced in salads, or even pickled. And just like other turnips, you can roast or saute them for a delicious and filling side.  But if you want to stay true to the cultural roots if this turnip, you’ll want to either steam them over the leaves, pickle them, or add them to miso soup.

Good for You


tokyo turnips

Yes, it’s true, as we all know, that all veggies are good for you, and each in their own way.  So, what is so good about turnips, or Tokyo turnips?

  • First of all, keep the greens.  There’s tons of good stuff is in turnip greens, even more than the root.  Like Vitamins A, B6, C, E & K, as well as manganese, calcium, copper, and iron. And at only 28 calories a serving, you won’t wanna miss out any part of them.
  • A cousin of broccoli & kale, turnips are high in fiber (good for your tummy) and nitrates (good for your heart).
  • You’ll get your share of Vitamin C & B6 in the root of the Tokyo turnip.
  • Several of the plant compounds found in turnips are found to reduce the risk of cancer, and have antifungal, antidiabetic, and antibacterial properties, like brassinin, glucosinolates , and sulphoraphone.  Click on the words to learn more about each of them.

Tastiest Turnips


sauteed tokyo turnips

Make your Tokyo turnips taste the best by washing them very well before eating so they’re nice & clean, full of turnip flavor and nothing else.  When cooking, be sure to not overcook, which can cause a bitter taste.  All of our taste preferences are different, and with turnips, there are actually a few of us who will taste bitterness no matter what.  20% of the population tastes the bitterness in cruciferous veggies way more than the rest of us (maybe you can even like that bitterness, knowing it means you’re eating super healthy).   But for most of us, we’ll enjoy all of the goodness of Tokyo turnips, now that we know a little more about them.