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Milder than red radish, daikon has a crisp, juicy texture and
a sweet, slightly peppery bite. Add it to fresh salads and relish
trays or cook in simmering soups and stir-fries.
Daikon is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean. It
reached Japan, by way of China, about 2,000 years ago. Today, more land
in Japan is devoted to the cultivation of daikon than any other
vegetable. In one form or another, daikon appears at almost every
Japanese meal. Its name is derived from the Japanese words dai (large) and kon (root).
Many varieties of daikon are cultivated in different regions. The three main types include the Korean, which has a cone shape and green coloration; the Chinese, which is similar in shape but completely white; and the Japanese, which is more cylindrical.
Daikon is available year-round. It is available at some
supermarkets, but you're more likely to find it at Asian specialty
markets. Look for radishes that are firm, unwrinkled and free of cracks
Storage TipsWrap in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to one week. When cut, fresh daikon will be crisp and juicy, like an apple.
Usage TipsDaikon is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in the same ways as radish. Before using, slice off the roots and leaves and wash under cold running water. (Note: the leaves are worth saving as they're rich in vitamin C, iron and calcium. Sauté or add them raw to salads). Drain, peel the skin off (like a carrot) and chop or grate as desired. Daikon can be eaten raw or cooked (even for long periods of time) without losing its taste or texture.
• Add raw daikon to fresh salads.
• Cut into strips or chips for relish trays.
• Dip raw into sour cream or yogurt-based dips.
• Simmer in miso soup.
• Cook in a stir-fry.
• Julienne and cook in a stir-fry.
Try one of our favorite daikon recipes:
Daikon and Carrot Salad
Myong's Kim Chee
Lobster Daikon Spring Rolls & Coconut Lime Dressing