Have you heard of it before? I have, and I may even have eaten it before. I remember episode after episode of Iron Chef Japan where daikon was mentioned and eaten gleefully by the jubilant and serious judges alike.
In short, daikon is a radish. It’s origin lies in Southeast Asia, and is commonly harvested and eaten in that area. The word daikon is in itself the Japanese name for the root, but is the common name for the mild winter radish when discussed in English. In the United States, daikon is most often grown to keep soil loose on fallow fields or fed to animals as fodder, can you believe it?!
In East and Southeast Asia, daikon is very often pickled, and that’s how I first heard of it. The other night I made Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches and it called for pickled daikon and carrots. The website mentioned I could purchase it already pickled but this is me we’re talking about!
All you need to do is grate enough daikon to fill 2 cups, and 1 cup worth of carrots. I massaged then with half the salt and let them sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing and draining thoroughly. Then I just dumped the rest of the ingredients in and stirred well to form the brine. Because I’m lazy. I let it sit in the fridge for about 10 hours before eating, but overnight would be best.
I served mine on a homemade Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi Sandwich and it added a nice sweet crunch to the savory pork and fresh cilantro!
There are a lot of other ways to use daikon, like daikon fries, daikon soup, daikon salad, etc. And I’ve got some to spare because my wholesale produce shop had 2 lbs for $3, so I might even try crispy daikon cakes!
Pickled Daikon & Carrot
Crunchy, salty, sweet and tart: a near perfect pickle salad.
NUTRITION: 69 cals, 0.1g fat, 172mg sodium, 17.4g carbs, 0.6g protein.
- 2 cups daikon radish, grated
- 1 cup carrots, grated
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Combine the shredded daikon and carrot with 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss. Let sit 10 minutes, then rinse and drain well.
- Stir in remaining ingredients well and refrigerate at least 8 hours. Overnight is better. Drain liquid well before serving.
Have you tried daikon before? What do you think of it?
Have a great Thursday, everyone!