Daikon is a Japanese root vegetable. It's crunchy and can be eaten raw or cooked. Do you know that daikon is a whole food? You can eat the skin and leaves of it. There isn't anything in it to throw away!
If you're not sure what to do with it, don't worry. This article will provide all of your knowledge on preparing it as well as 5 easy and delicious recipes!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You love Japanese daikon.
- You don't know how to cook daikon.
- You want to get to know more about daikon
- You are looking for various daikon recipes
I hope you find this useful. Let's get started!
What is Daikon?
Daikon is a Japanese root vegetable and one of the popular vegetables used for various raw and cooked dishes.
Daikon means big root, so it's thick, long, heavy- weighing about 1 to 2 kilos each depending on size. Here in Japan, the average one would cost anywhere from 100 yen (about $1) when in the season.
It is available all year round, but the main season time is summer and winter. The Summer daikon tends to be more peppery in taste, whereas Winter Daikon tends to have a sweeter flavor with a juicier texture.
What does it taste like?
Daikon has two main tastes: peppery and sweet, depending on which part you use. The upper part, closer to the leaves is more sweet than towards the bottom where it becomes much more peppery.
- Upper: Sweet and juicy
- Middle: Sweet and slightly peppery
- Lower: Peppery
If you buy the whole daikon, why don't you check out how different it tastes by eating raw. The upper part is so juicy and delicious without seasoning if it's a seasonal fresh one!
What is it good for?
Daikon is 95% water, and the main nutrients are potassium and vitamin C. Vitamin C is especially contained close to the skin, so it is ideal for eating the skin.
It's also rich in digestive enzymes. Enzymes die by heating, so it's best to eat them raw like salads or grated if you want to get the benefits. Therefore grated daikon is often served with greasy dishes because they help digestion.
In addition, daikon leaves are more nutritious than the roots. Rich in vitamin C, calcium, and dietary fiber! Let's cook them up with some rice or make a miso soup for dinner tonight.
How do you choose good Daikon?
When you pick up daikon at grocery store, let's check these points.
- Straight, heavy, and thick
- Firm and smooth surface
- beautiful white color with fewer bumps
- Bright green leaves (if they are yellow, the daikon is not fresh)
How to store
First, separate the leaves and the root which preventing the root from drying out.
- A whole root: Wrap up with newspaper and keep in a cold and dark place or the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Partially used root: Wrap it up with cling film and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also cut it into small pieces or grated and keep them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- The leaves: Only last 2 to 3 days in the fridge, so recommend cooking it right away or cutting it into small pieces and keeping it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How do you cook with it?
Daikon's skin is usually peeled and commonly eaten both raw and cooked (simmered dish, soup, or stir fry). Since the taste varies by the part you use, it is best to change the way to cook.
It is sweet and juicy like fruits so it is best eaten raw. You can also enjoy the crispy texture as it is harder than the other part.
Sample Recipes: Daikon Salad, Vegetable sticks, Grated daikon, Pickled daikon
It’s tender and well balanced with sweetness and pepperiness. It's great for any cooking, like simmered dishes and stirs fry. Especially cut it thick and simmer in a pot for a long time. It gets tender and tasty.
Sample Recipes: Nimono (Japanese simmered dish), Curry, Oden(Japanese winter simmered dish)
It’s the most peppery part, so it’s better to cut into thin slices and put them in soup or pickled, or if you are fun of peppery taste, then grated daikon is great too.
Sample Recipes: Pickled daikon, Grated daikon, Miso soup
The skin is high in nutrients so do not throw it away please.
Sample Recipes: Stir fry, Pickles
If the daikon comes with the green, it's great! Please don’t throw it away. It includes many nutritional value and you can cook it same way as other green leaves. It a bit bitter so recommended to cook with extra seasoning and most popular way is Furikake(Japanese rice seasoning). By the way, my favorite way is to use for green smoothie to give a little accent.
Sample Recipes: Miso soup, Furikake (Japanese rice seasoning), Pickles, Green smoothie
You'll be surprised to know how many different dishes you can make with daikon! Daikons are versatile vegetables that can take on whatever flavor you want. Here are 5 simple recipes you can make at home with ease. Try them and let me know which one you like the best!
This is a super simple daikon salad served with creamy sesame dressing. If you are looking for an easy and quick daikon recipe, why don't you try this Japanese flavor salad?
Cook daikon and atsuage tofu (deep-fried tofu) slowly in a pot and enjoy this daikon nimono (simmered daikon). It's flavorful, tender, and so easy to break with chopsticks!
This Daikon Miso Soup is a hearty and healthy Japanese soup. The daikons are tender, and the dashi (soup stock) has an umami flavor that makes it rich in taste. If you love daikon and soup, this recipe is for you!
When you cook Japanese daikon, you will have lots of daikon skin left over. Please don't throw them away! If you try this Daikon Skin Stir-Fry, you can make one more dish!
This Japanese pickled daikon is sweet, refreshing, and super crunchy. Traditional pickles take time, but this is a quick and easy version for daikon beginners.
Watch How To Cook Daikon
Watch this video and learn how to cook daikon in 5 different ways.
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Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes include vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.
Daikon Recipes You Might LIke
- Daikon Salad
- Daikon Nimono With Atsuage (Simmered dish)
- Daikon Miso Soup
- Daikon Skin Stir Fry with Shio kombu
- Pickled Daikon