About Daikon Radish

November 26, 2006

About Daikon Radish

Daikon is a variety of radish also known as Japanese radish, Chinese radish and Satsuma radish. They are white, spicy, can grow up to 3 feet long and they weigh up to 100 pounds, although they are usually harvested at 1 to 5 pounds. Daikon can be eaten raw, grated in salad or cut into strips or chips for relish trays, it can be pickled, grilled, boiled, broiled, or it can be stir-fried, simmered in soups and stews. They have a pleasant, sweet and zesty flavor with a spicy afterbite. They are also preserved by salting as in making sauerkraut.

To prepare, scrub the skin as you would a carrot and cut for whatever style your recipe idea calls for. A Japanese method to cooking daikon is to use water in which rice has been washed or a bit of rice bran added (this keeps the daikon white and eliminates bitterness and sharpness). For chips, relish tray sticks or stir fries – simply scrub the daikon and cut crossways for thin chips. Dip thin chips in ice water and they will crisp and curl for a Daikon chip platter with your favorite sour cream or yogurt.

Daikon leaves are rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, and iron, so they are worth using instead of discarding. For short term storage the root and leaves can be refrigerated in a plastic bag. For longer periods of up to several months, keep in cool location as a root cellar.

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