This Japanese Pickled Daikon Radish is an excellent side or accompaniment to any meal. It's crunchy, sweet, and refreshing, so it'll go well with any dish! Traditional pickles take time, but try this easy pickled daikon recipe!
Pickled Daikon (called Takuan in Japanese) is a simple side dish and an excellent palate cleanser after any Japanese meal. You may have experienced it before in a variety of Japanese restaurants.
The traditional way takes a long time to pickle (like one month), but this quick pickles recipe takes only 2 to 3 days. It's perfect for those who are looking for an easy recipe!
- This recipe is for you if:
- You want to cook Japanese daikon radish.
- You love Japanese pickled daikon.
- You are looking for an easy Japanese pickled daikon recipe
Let me show you how I make my delicious homemade Japanese pickled daikon step by step. Let's get cooking!
About This Recipe
- Japanese pickled daikon radish
- A quick and easy recipe
- Pickling time is 2 to 3 days
- Crunchy, sweet, and sour
Pickles or tsukemono in Japanese is a staple and essential dish of Japanese cuisine. Various vegetables can be used for tsukemono, but daikon radish is one of the more popular ingredients.
There are more pickle recipes with Daikon, and here are five variations!
- Takuan - The most common pickled Daikon, made by pickling sun-dried Daikon with rice bran and salt. It takes about one month to complete the pickling.
- Fukushinzuke - Pickle 7 vegetables in soy sauce mixture. They are commonly used as a relish for Japanese curry.
- Iburigakko - The pickling method is similar to takuan but uses smoked Daikon instead of sun-dried Daikon. It’s Akita's (Tohoku region) local food.
- Bettarazuke - Pickle daikon with salt first, then pickle with koji rice and sugar.
- Tsubozuke - Pickle sun-dried Daikon in soy sauce mixture. Kyushu region's local food.
Their flavor and taste are different, but they all have a nice crunchy texture!
The recipe in this post is a simple version of Bettarazuke. The traditional pickling process takes time, so I want to share an easy and short way to make homemade pickled Daikon.
What is Japanese Daikon Radish?
Let's review what a large white radish is before diving into the recipe!
Daikon is a type of radish known as white, winter, and Japanese radish; it is a common root vegetable in Japan.
Daikon means "big root" in Japanese, long, thick, and heavy. Large daikon radishes weigh anywhere from 1 to 2 kg (2 to 4 lbs).
We can find wide varieties of Daikon in Japan, but this Aokubi daikon, the green color on the top, is the most common.
It has an earthy flavor with many versatile uses and can be eaten raw (including the skin), stir-fried, or added to a soup. You can also eat the leaves (actually, leaves contain more nutrients than white roots!).
The most popular dish is a simmered daikon.
It's available all year round at grocery stores, but the primary season is summer and winter. The Summer daikon tends to have a more peppery taste, whereas winter daikon tends to have a sweet flavor and juicier texture.
Where to buy? If you can't find it at a local grocery store, try to find it at a Japanese grocery store, Asian grocery store, or local farmer's market.
See more details in the recipe section below! It will show you how to cook 11 delicious recipes and includes basic information about Daikon, such as health benefits.
What does it taste like?
Do you know that Daikon has different tastes and textures depending on which part you use?
Its unique flavor profile has a sweet spot near its leaves and turns peppery toward the bottom.
- Top (near the leaves): Sweet, juicy, and crunchy
- Middle: Sweet, slightly peppery, and soft
- Bottom: Peppery and less juicy
If you are curious, you can find the difference by eating each part raw.
The texture and taste are different, so using the parts according to your cooking dish makes them tastier. The sweet and juicy top part works perfectly for eating raw, while the peppery bottom is excellent for spices or sauces.
Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).
- Daikon: You can use any part of the Daikon. I use the bottom part of the Daikon in this recipe.
- Shio Koji: Shio koji is a Japanese seasoning made by fermenting rice koji and salt. The taste is salty and sweet. Shio koji brings out the best flavor, but finding it might not be easy, so you can substitute it with salt (I like using sea salt).
- Rice Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar: It's made by brewing rice as the main ingredient. It has a mild taste with the sweetness and umami of rice. It's often used for sushi rice (vinegar rice). You can substitute it with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with sugar.
- Sugar: Any sugar is ok. I use cane sugar in this recipe. You can substitute it with honey and maple syrup.
How to make pickled Daikon is so easy! I will walk you through the steps one by one. You can also watch this video.
- Peel daikon
- Cut Daikon in half
- Make pickling liquid (shio koji, sugar, and rice vinegar)
- Put the Daikon and the vinegar mixture in a plastic bag and massage
- Put it in an airtight container (or a large mason jar) and pickle for 2 to 3 days in the fridge
- Cut into thick slices and enjoy!
Here you go! I hope you will enjoy the crunchy texture and sour flavor.
Plenty of water comes out from the Daikon while pickling. After finishing the pickled Daikon, you can also enjoy the leftover juice.
Store in a food container and keep it in the refrigerator for one week.
You can also freeze it. Drain the water, wrap one serving in plastic, put it in a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer. It will be suitable for one month. Thaw it in the fridge or at room temperature when you eat.
What to Serve With
Give it a try these Japanese dishes! Simple onigiri is perfectly paired with this tasty side dish.
- 16 Best Onigiri Fillings (Japanese Rice Balls)
- Tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet)
- Eggplant teriyaki
- Napa Cabbage Coleslaw
11 Japanese Daikon Radish Recipes
You can cook Daikon radishes in many ways. Check out this collection of easy Japanese daikon recipes!
Watch this video and learn how to cook Daikon in 5 different ways.
Thanks for Stopping By!
This pickled daikon recipe is super easy and quick. I hope you will love it!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ . If you've tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!
Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.
More Daikon Recipes You Might Like
- Japanese Daikon Recipes
- Daikon Salad
- Daikon Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Daikon Miso Soup
- Daikon Nimono Recipe (Simmered Daikon)
- Kiriboshi Daikon Salad
Easy Japanese Pickled Daikon Radish RecipePrint Pin Save Saved!
- Prepare daikon: Peel daikon and cut it in half.
- Mix seasoning: Put shio koji, rice vinegar, and sugar into a small bowl and mix well.
- Massage: Put daikon and the seasoning in a plastic bag and massage them well.
- Pickle: Close the bag tight, put it in a container, and pickle for 2-3 days in the fridge.
- Slice: Open the bag, transfer to a container, slice, and enjoy.
- Storage: Good for one week in the fridge. You can also freeze it. Drain the water, wrap one serving in plastic, put it in a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer. It will be good for one month. Thaw it in the fridge or at room temperature when you eat.
- Substitute: You can substitute shio koji with 1 teaspoon of salt. You can substitute rice vinegar with other types of vinegar.
- Watch how To Video