Originating in Japan, daikon radish is a traditional food in the everyday meal of the Japanese people. Nowadays, it is a common root vegetable grown all over the world and served as a great component in many dishes.
Daikon radish is well-known for its nutritional value as well as its elegant flavor. It makes a fine ingredient as a spice for every dish and the main course, cooked in various ways. Stir-fry, salad, or pickle, each cooking method distinctly highlights its value.
What Is Daikon Radish?
As the name suggested, daikon radish was first grown in Japan. It goes by other names such as white radish or Japanese radish to distinguish itself from other white radish variants grown in East Asia. Daikon is served as a common dish in every household.
This type of radish is similar to radish grown in Western countries; however, it is much larger and more nutritional than Western breakfast radish. It has a form of long and large roots, shaped like a carrot. Aside from being used as food, farmers can use it to fertilize the land.
Japanese radish also has many varieties, such as watermelon radish in China or mu radish in Korea. Each region has its way of growing radishes, with divergent flavors and health benefits.
What Does Daikon Taste Like?
Daikon radish brings about a fresh and delicate smell for your senses, along with a crunchy and mild taste if eaten raw. Depending on your cooking purposes, daikon radish is a delightful ingredient that would spruce up your dish nicely.
This cruciferous vegetable makes a great dish for everyone, especially new vegans or toddlers. If boiled, it has a sweet flavor and juicy texture that can stimulate the taste buds of your tongue and helps you eat more deliciously.
How To Cook Daikon Radish
Japanese radish is a versatile vegetable, which can be served cooked or raw. Let’s take a look at some stunning daikon radish recipes!
One of the most popular and easiest ways to cook with white radish is to make a salad. The elegant flavor and delicious crunchiness mixed up with fresh lettuce and tomatoes dipped in layers of mayonnaise, and boiled egg will spice up your meal.
If you don’t have time to be sophisticated, roll some slices of daikon radish into a mixture of salt, peppers, vinegar, and chili. Stir it up, and you will have an amazing snack for endless fun with family and friends.
In many Asian regions, daikon radish is fermented for a long period in a jar to make a brilliant pickled radish dish for everyday meals. A side dish of pickled radish is a must in almost every traditional family dinner in Korea, Japan, and China.
To make pickled radish, you need to cut the radishes into small and thin pieces, then put them into a large, sterilized jar. Add a portion of sugar, vinegar, and salt to the pan and boil at low heat as you stir often. Pour the mixture into the jar and close it tightly for 1-2 days in the fridge.
Pickled radish is often served with hot white rice. In some regions of Japan, white radish is dry pickled and serves as a snack. In Vietnam, pickled radish and carrot are sliced into strings and added to Banh mi, a very popular street food.
White radish marks its distinctive flavor when stir-fried with beef, chicken, shrimp, or pork. It goes along with almost every ingredient to make the dish taste even better. Adding daikon radish while cooking meat will reduce the fat level and boost the taste of the main course.
Boiling is probably the most simple and healthiest method of cooking white radish on this list. By tossing daikon radish directly into boiling water and cooking until it is fork-tender, you’ll get a tasty side dish.
After boiling, remember not to throw the water away because it is highly nutritious. You can drink it directly or make soup. Add some meat, potatoes, carrots, spice, and you will have a delicious pot of stew. A perfect option for a cold winter dinner.
Where To Buy Daikon Radish?
The best daikon radish is originally from Japan; however, you can buy it from any grocery store at a reasonable price. This product is mostly grown in East Asia regions so that the quality would be higher than those planted from other regions.
You can easily get white radish for everyday meals at a decent price. We recommended purchasing from a reliable farm to ensure the best quality. The right time for daikon radish to fully develop is during winter, so you should only get it at that time.
While choosing, remember to pick the large, heavy, and juicy radish with tough skin. It should not have cuts or dark and rotten areas.
As soon as you bring your daikon radishes home, it is advisable to remove the leaves and wrap them in plastic bags. Store them in the vegetable section of your fridge.
If you put them in the freezer, they will last for about a month. You can store pickled radish for about three weeks.
Health Benefits Of Daikon Radish
Daikon radish is extremely rich in phosphorus, fiber, and potassium. It also has a low level of calories, which is beneficial for people trying to lose weight. Daikon’s nutrition value is quite high, with many vitamins C and protein for skin and eye development.
A quarter cup of daikon radish, a quarter cup of carrot juice and a handful of fresh ice cubes just out of your ice makers can make a healthy drink. Try this recipe if you want a boost of Vitamin C on hot summer days!
Daikon radish is a brilliant, multi-purpose root vegetable that is not just tasty but also beneficial for your health. We highly recommend you add this vegetable to your meal rotation.
Thank you for reading!