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What the Heck is Daikon?

What the Heck is Daikon?

Daikon, also known as Japanese radish, white radish, or, in Europe, mooli, is a larger, milder Asian cousin of the red radishes commonly grown in North America and Europe.

Most often associated with Japanese cuisine, daikon was originally grown in East Asia. Often resembling a large, white carrot, daikon can grow to be more than a foot long and up to four inches in diameter. Appropriately, then, its name comes from the Japanese word for “large root.”

With a long shelf life, similar to other root vegetables, daikon is low in calories and rich in nutrients, including dietary fiber, folate (vitamin B9), vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

In the kitchen, it’s incredibly versatile, and can be eaten raw, roasted, pickled, stir fried, mashed, grated, or made into popular pan-fried cakes.

The leaves are also edible and commonly used as a garnish or salad green in Japan.

Daikon Cakes
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 cups grated daikon
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Place the grated daikon in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain the daikon and stir in the garlic, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, pepper, paprika, and chili garlic sauce. Mix well and form into small, round patties. Pour oil into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Fry daikon patties in hot oil until golden brown and drain on paper towels.

Daikon Chips
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Set the oven to broil and thinly slice daikon. In a large bowl, mix the daikon slices with enough oil to lightly coat them, and add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange daikon slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler. Broil until crispy.

Pickled Daikon
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound daikon radish
1/4 cup kosher salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar, water, sugar, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Peel the daikon and slice into 1/4” rounds. Mix with salt and place in a colander to drain for an hour. Rinse the salt off pat the daikon slices dry. Place the daikon in a sterilized glass jar and cover with the cooled brine. Refrigerate overnight.

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  • Fawn Cadue says:

    Daikon is great cooked with a pork roast. Just “chunk” the daikon and lay it around the roast, as you would potatoes. Season with garlic, salt, and any spices you like. Bake until roast is done to your liking. The daikon will mostly “melt” away, but the flavors it gives is wonderful..They are good shredded with a soy sauce added. Refrigerate and eat it with rice, or as my husband likes, all by itself. If you like turnips, you will enjoy the taste of the cooked daikon. Wonderful!

  • Rogelio Barbosa says:

    can I grow daikon in zone 6 in Idaho I want to try them out.

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