Friday, July 27, 2007

What Should I Do with my Daikon?


I bought a daikon radish last year at the supermarket to grate up and use as a condiment for a homemade sushi supper and we really enjoyed it. I grated and squeezed dry a grated daikon and seasoned it with soy sauce, sesame oil, a little sugar and ginger and it was a hit.

So this year, when perusing my seed catalogues, I thought I would try and grow some daikon (pronounced dye-kon) radishes in our garden. Well, I certainly didn't need to plant a whole packet of seeds, because they have taken over my garden with their beautiful, if bushy tops and we certainly can't eat all of our daikon-zillas. Some of these babies are now over a foot long and four inches in circumference! We tried a daikon pickle recipe we got out of one of our cookbooks, but the pickles were way too salty and besides, the daikon ferments quickly and has given our refrigerator a very unappealing gym sneaker scent.

I have managed to pawn off some baseball bat-sized daikons to my Japanese-born friend Junko and she offered up basically the same daikon condiment recipe that we had already tried, so if anyone out there has other cooking suggestions, please feel free to forward them.

3 comments:

Sea said...

Hi!
Even though I lived in Japan for some years, I have to admit, I don't really like daikon all that much. lol. I had one too many bad daikon recipe to like it.

I read recently that if you cook daikon in water that rice has been washed in, the daikon will stay white and not get bitter. Don't know if it's true or not.

A co-worker always put daikon into her miso soup- it was surprisingly tasty. You can simmer daikon in any recipe as if it were a carrot. Cubed daikon is common, but you can also julienne or make disks/chips to saute in a Japanese sauce of GF soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. Juliennes are probably my favorite. You could try it in a kinpira simmered in the above sauce with carrots and gobo- all julienned into matchsticks.

You can also try sunomono, pickles. I found a kind of interesting one with cucumber here:
http://japanesefood.about.com/library/recipe/blsuno-cucumber1.htm
I know what you mean about the pickles being too salty, but you can reduce the amount of salt, the amount of time they are in a brine, and also rinse them after the salt has done its job.

Hope this helps! I've had the same problem, and I usually just buy one daikon once in a blue moon. lol

-Sea

visit me at
www.bookofyum.com

Still Learning GF said...

Daikon are a favorite vegetable in the Filipino dish of sinigang. Google it for lots of recipe choices or search on www.marketmanila.com for some ideas.

Rachel Jagareski, Old Saratoga Books said...

Thank you Sea and Still Learning GF for your delicious ideas. The daikons are still a-comin' and I welcome your suggestions. We've enjoyed taking our too-salty daikon pickles and shredding them up with cabbage in our coleslaw. It gives it a little zip which is nice. But they still make my refrigerator smell like a gym locker. Yikes!

-Rachel