How to Cook Daikon and Everything You Need to Know!

Welcome to the ultimate guide on How to Cook Daikon – your go-to resource for everything you need to know about preparing and savoring this delightful winter vegetable!

Daikon, sugar, shio koji, and rice vinegar.

In this guide, you will understand what daikon is, explore its unique taste profiles, discover suitable cooking methods, and learn how to cut and store it properly. Plus, I’ll share a delightful collection of tasty daikon radish recipes at the end.

Let’s make your daikon cooking experience smooth and enjoyable!

What is Japanese Daikon Radish?

Daikon, also known as winter radish, is a type of large white radish in Japan. The word “Daikon” translates to “big root” in Japanese, describing its characteristic long, thick, and heavy appearance. Typically weighing between 1 to 2 kg (2 to 4 lbs), daikon comes in various types in Japan. One of the most common varieties is the Aokubi daikon, recognizable by its green color at the top.

What Does it Taste Like?

a Japanese daikon radish with some text overlay.

Daikon generally has an earthy taste, but its flavor changes based on the part you use. Its unique flavor profile has a sweet spot near its leaves and turns peppery towards the bottom. We will review the recipes suitable for each part in the next section.

  • Top (near the leaves): Sweet, juicy, and crunchy
  • Middle: Sweet, slightly peppery, and soft
  • Bottom: Peppery and less juicy

Cooking Methods for Each Daikon Part

This long white root vegetable offers versatility in preparation, but you might not be sure how to cook it! As previously mentioned, daikon has different flavors from top to bottom; the sweet and juicy top part works perfectly for a raw daikon recipe, while the peppery bottom is excellent for spices or sauces. Let’s find out more!

Top Root

3 daikon dishes with daikon.

The top root is the sweetest part of the white root, so I highly recommend eating it raw in salads and pickles to enjoy the juicy and crunchy texture.

Middle Root

3 daikon dishes with daikon.

The middle root has a good balance of sweet flavor that works well for any cooking method. I especially like cooking a simmered dish (daikon nimono) with this part. Cut it into thick rounds and simmer them until tender, turning this humble root vegetable into something special!

Bottom Root

3 daikon dishes with daikon.

The bottom part of the daikon has a peppery taste. If you enjoy spicy flavors, you can make daikon oroshi and use it as a topping for noodles or natto over rice. The bottom of daikon is also a great addition to miso soup.

Daikon Leaves

3 daikon dishes with daikon.

Please don’t overlook the leaves; they are nutrient-rich, surpassing the white roots in nutritional content! So don’t throw the leaves away! It’s a great idea to incorporate it into a green smoothie, miso soup, or use it like other green leaves.

The Skin

When you peel the daikon, don’t throw the skin away! The skin is edible, and you can try delicious recipes such as stir fry with sesame oil or quick pickles with rice vinegar and sugar.


Being thick and long, Daikon radishes might leave you wondering how to store them. Here’s a simple way to keep these large roots fresh!

  • Refrigerate: Cut off the leaves as they can absorb nutrients around the roots. Wrap it with plastic wrap or newspaper and one week in the fridge. Watch How to store daikon radish.
  • Freeze: Cut and put in a freezer bag and keep it in the freezer for one month.
  • Room temperature: Wrap daikon in a newspaper and store it in a dark and cool place for three weeks to one month.

How To Cut Daikon 6 Ways

A daikon with text overlay.

Before cooking daikon radish for lunch or dinner tonight, let’s make sure you know how to cut a Japanese radish. Learn various ways to cut daikon pieces in this quick guide: How To Cut Daikon Radish (6 Ways).

12 Delicious Daikon Recipes to Try!

11 Japanese daikon recipes.

I’ve collected my favorite Japanese Daikon Radish Recipes, all simple and easy to make! You will discover delicious ways to make the most of this versatile vegetable from top to bottom! perfect side dish

Your Questions Answered

Do you peel daikon before cooking?

If you’re having it raw or stir-frying and you’re okay with a firm texture, you can leave it unpeeled. However, daikon skin has tough, stringy fibers inside, making it tricky to cook. That’s why it’s recommended to peel daikon thickly for stews and simmered dishes.

Is daikon better cooked or raw?

If you like it crunchy and mild, use raw daikon in salads or as a garnish. If you prefer it softer with more flavor, cook daikon in soups or stews. Try both ways to see what you like best!

What does cooked daikon taste like?

Cooked daikon has a milder, sweeter flavor and is less peppery compared to its raw form.

Grab Your Daikon eBook!

Dive deeper into daikon with this ultimate guide – everything you need to know about cooking with daikon and delicious recipes compiled in one convenient ebook!

Daikon ebook with blue backgrount.

Cooking with Daikon: Your Ultimate Guide

Japanese pickled daikon

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I hope you enjoy this How To Cook Daikon! If you try it, don’t forget to leave a rating to share your thoughts—I love hearing from you!

6 daikon recipes

13 Easy Japanese Daikon Radish Recipes

5 from 5 votes
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Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Juri Austin
Daikon radishes are earthy but versatile vegetables that can be eaten raw or cooked. If you want to learn how to cook it, here are 12 Japanese daikon radish recipes to help you get started!


  • 1 Daikon radish



Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: daikon recipes
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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