Although daikon radishes are actually members of the far-flung cabbage family, they look like overgrown white carrots and taste like mild radishes. Unchecked, daikon radishes have been known to weigh in at 50 pounds. Since daikon radishes are milder in flavor than regular radishes, they can be used like any other root vegetable in cooking.
If the greens are still attached, remove and refrigerate them in a plastic bag and use them within a week. Wrap the unwashed root in a separate plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to two weeks.
There usually is no need to peel daikon radishes. Wash them thoroughly in cold running water to remove any lingering dirt. Slice, dice, chop, or grate the daikon according to the directions of your recipe.
Daikon with Tahini Dressing
This is an attention-getting dish: it’s unique, it’s attractive, and it tastes wonderful. Mix in some cooked shredded chicken and an extra 1/4 cup tahini, and you have a delicious, unique chicken salad. Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from Recipes from a Kitchen Garden).
4 inches daikon, cut into matchstick-sized strips
3/4 cup thinly sliced red radishes
1 medium carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup tahini
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 tablespoon dry sherry or vermouth
1/4 cup chopped almonds (optional)
1. Combine daikon, red radish, and carrots in a medium bowl.
2. Whisk the tahini, scallions, lemon juice, sherry, salt, and sugar to taste in a small bowl until well combined. Thin the dressing with a few tablespoons of water until the mixture is a smooth paste.
3. Toss the dressing with radishes until well combined. Garnish with almonds if desired.
Daikon in Plum Sauce
This fast and delightful recipe makes for a great introduction to the daikon. It’s sweet and savory with a pleasing texture, and the daikon’s distinct flavor shines through. Angelic Organics Kitchen.
Serves 3 to 4
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons plum sauce
1 tablespoon minced scallion
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 daikon, peeled, cut into matchstick-sized strips
2 tablespoons water
1. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until cornstarch dissolves. Stir in the plum sauce and scallions.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Swirl the oil around the wok so that it covers the cooking area, then add the daikon; cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
3. Add the water and cover. Cook until the daikon is tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add the soy sauce mixture and continue cooking, stirring vigorously, until the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Simple, satisfying, and whipped up in minutes, this makes a great meal with teriyaki salmon and a bowl of rice. Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini).
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 medium daikon, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
10–12 red radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil or more to taste (optional)
1. Heat the peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the scallions; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the daikon and red radishes; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the water and continue stir-frying until all the water has all evaporated.
2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and chili oil, mixing everything together vigorously and cooking for 30 seconds more. Immediately transfer to a serving platter. Serve hot.
Excerpted from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables: Seasonal Recipes and Stories from a Community Supported Farm by Farmer John Peterson & Angelic Organics (Gibbs Smith Publisher). Check with your local farm or bookstore for availability. Additional recipes, charts, signed copies of this book, and quantity discounts available at www.AngelicOrganics.com/cookbook.