ShaWo Fruit Radish

ShaWo Fruit

(Saiya Pear, ShaWo, ShaWo Fruit, Tianjin Weiqing, Weiqing radish, Wei Qing)

Culinary Preparation


ShaWo fruit radish originated in Xiaoshawo, Bijia and surrounding villages in Xinkou Town, Xiqing, Tianjin. Tianjin’s cultivation of green radish is recorded as far back as the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). This local tradition has a history of more than 600 years. 2 The cultivation of the ShaWo fruit radish, or Wei Qing, variety dates back 300 years. 2

The name ‘Shawo Radish’ is a registered trademark of the Shawo Radish Production and Marketing Association in Tianjin. 5

There is an old local saying in Xiqing that,“Shawo radish is as good as pear”. This is due to the pear-like taste it develops after a frost.

According to legend, the original variety of Shawo radish came from northern Anhui. In 1404 AD, when Tianjin was under construction, tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians from Fengyang and Guzhen in Anhui moved north, bringing this treasure with them.

However, the radish in northern Anhui may be white radish that is similar to “lu radish”. From the Ming and Qing Dynasties to the Republic of China, it has become one of the most proud local foods under the name “Wei Qing”.”

(Pg 11, April 4, 2019 “People’s Daily Overseas Edition” 4)

“一摔掉八瓣” “Eight petals fell off” is a Chinese saying to demonstrate that authentic and fresh ShaWo is so crisp that when dropped it will crack into several pieces. This is effectually imparted in the old TIanjin saying, “the radish in Shawo is crunchy”. 5

“For two or three hundred years, people in Tianjin could throw green radishes when they bought them.” (Pg 11, April 4, 2019 “People’s Daily Overseas Edition” 4) The customer, “will randomly pick a radish, pluck off the tassel, hold it flat in the air, and then let go. The authentic and fresh Shawo radish would break into several ice patterns and even break into several pieces. Therefore, the buyer was so happy that he bought several radish together with the broken radish.” (Pg 11, April 4, 2019 “People’s Daily Overseas Edition” 4)

The local legend “Cao Ying came to the rescue” recounts the famous ShaWo fruit radish.

A legend of “Cao Ying came to the rescue” was circulated in the Shawo area. In 206 AD, Cao’s army was stationed in the Shawo area. Due to the acclimatization, the soldiers generally suffered from a disease-cough and anorexia. The military doctors at the time were helpless. After the local people learned about it, they sent Shawo radish. The soldiers recovered within a few days after eating it. Since then, the military morale have been boosted. It is said that Cao later wrote a poem specifically for radish, but it has not been verified over time.” (, 2024 7)