Skip to content

Foodstuff: Daikon

Daikon 01

For many people, daikon is largely only familiar as the small pile of glistening white shreds artfully added as a garnish to plates of sashimi or sushi. This is a shame, though, as the giant white member of the radish family,’ Daikon’ in Japanese,’ Mooli’ in India and ‘Lobok’ to the Cantonese, is a very versatile vegetable and well worth incorporating into one’s regular menu.

Today’s post will not only allow us to take a look at this useful foodstuff, but will also allow me to share with you an update of my wife’s (now concluded) Greenhouse Project … 

The first picture actually shows some daikon that my wife grew last year in the local Community Greenhouse. Daikon can get up to two feet long and several inches in diameter and, though her produce didn’t quite get that big, these ones were pretty respectably sized for having been grown in the Arctic.

Daikon 02

Sadly, our yield this year was a bit less than spectacular. Not only could my wife not plant until late in our already very short season, we had pretty lousy weather for most of the summer, with days of snow in July, August and September. Still, we managed to get a total of 11lbs of usable fodder (including the greens), and it must be said that the smaller daikon are often tastier than the huge ones.

Daikon 03

Here you can see a close-up of some daikon trimmed of their greens. The likeness to the more familiar white radishes often served in salads in the west is quite apparent. The taste of the raw vegetable is also quite similar, but daikon, in contrast to either red or white radishes, is much milder, and doesn’t have the very peppery, sometimes bitter quality you often experience in its much smaller cousins.

Usage

Simply put, Daikon can be put to any use as can any of the root vegetables that are tasty when eaten raw. You can use it in salads or as a garnish, as with regular radishes, and it is very nice when pickled (as typified by several different styles of Korean Kimchi). It can be stir-fried, included in curries, or, as is often done in in both Japanese and Chinese cuisine, incorporated into hot-pot style braises and stews.

Typically, when you buy daikon in a store it is shorn of its greens, but if you grow it yourself, or purchase it whole, this part of the plant should not be neglected. The greens can be quite robust, and this needs to be taken into consideration when choosing the cooking method, but, basically, they can be used in much the same way as Kale.

Daikon 04

For most uses, it is advisable to blanch the greens as this will not only help tenderize them, but also allows them to retain some of their nice green coloring during subsequent cooking methods. This can be achieved by immersing them in boiling, salted water for about 5 or 10 seconds, plunging them in very cold water to arrest the cooking, and then squeezing dry.

Daikon 05

The root portion of daikon stores very well (a few months in a cool, dark place, like a root-cellar), but the greens are a bit more delicate. I blanched all our greens(we had about 5lbs or so all told) and then wrapped them tightly for freezing. I did keep a little bit aside, which was stir-fried along with pork and Udon noodles, but the bulk of what remains will be chopped and stir-fried with rice. This is a favorite way of using it for my wife and I and it is a great way of including greens in the diet of fussy eaters who might otherwise balk at eating them.

Anyway, it is a shame that our small yield this year won’t allow me to do some of the culinary projects I had in mind but I do have a couple of uses planned for the little we do have and I will be posting the results in due course…

 

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. One of my all-time fave veggies! The ones in the top picture are gorgeous. Reminds me of a Kurosawa film named, “Redbeard.” In the movie, Redbeard hits a guy over the head with a huge daikon root and knocks him out.

    September 24, 2013
  2. We, Indonesian called it Lobak. There is a very popular cuisine from Bandung that use Lobak, i,e Soto Bandung it’s a kind of soup with beef and fried soya bean on top of it.

    September 24, 2013
    • That sounds interesting. ‘Lo Bok’ is what the Cantonese call it (‘Luo Bo’ in Mandarin) 🙂

      September 24, 2013
  3. feochadan #

    I promise that the results will be considerably better next year!

    September 24, 2013
  4. My family always use this in soup – chicken broth, daikon radish, and celery. In my mom’s home town, Xihu (Taiwan), the signature dish is 羊肉爐 (lamb hot pot) and often there is daikon radish in it. I suppose it’s used quite a bit in hot pot.

    I look forward to reading about your plans for your yield!

    September 24, 2013
    • I like the lamb hotpot idea. Unfortunately, this year’s yield was so small that the whole lot went to make two sorts of pickled preparations … those will be posted in due course.

      September 25, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Brine Pickled Daikon | Sybaritica
  2. Sichuan Red-Cooked Beef (紅燒牛肉) | Sybaritica
  3. Daikon Beef | Sybaritica
  4. Home-made Branston Pickle | Sybaritica
  5. Braised Pork with Daikon | Sybaritica

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . think . sous vide . blog .

REMCooks

My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design

DENTIST CHEF

Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?

Chefsopinion

Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season

HolyPrettyApple

If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes

Rabbitcancook

a recipe sharing and bento blog

benleeirene

Just another WordPress.com site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine

FOODTRAIL

A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations

bcfoodieblogger

Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: