CONTRIBUTED BY STACI HAWLEY

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Have you ever been curious about that huge albino- carrot looking vegetable that you see? The first time I noticed one, I thought it could be something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Behold, it is a Japanese Daikon, which actually in Japanese means “root”. When I first moved to Japan, I was not quite sure how one would “deal with the daikon”. How do you cook it? What does it taste like?

Chances are, if you have eaten in town you have had it sliced thinly in your salad. It is a really mild raddish, compared with those that were are used to in the states.

So, be daring. Get out of your usual cucumber and tomato routine. Try something new with my painfree, preparation-less dinner recipe:

I usually buy about 1.00 worth of daikon at the comissary-

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and then I “strip down” a rotisserie chicken, slice the daikon thinly- place over a bed of prewashed lettuce and then apply (sparingly), my favorite Japanese dressing (you can buy at the comissary):

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The nutritional value of a daikon is well…not that impressive. Sort of in that watercress/watermelon group:

Amount Per 1 cup
Calories 58.97
Calories from Fat 37.36
 
% Daily Value *

Total Fat 4.15g 6%

Saturated Fat 0.84g 4%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.21g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.9g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 406.41mg 17%

Potassium 422.14mg 12%

Total Carbohydrate 5.1g 2%

Dietary Fiber 2.36g 9%

Protein 1.03g 2%

Alcohol 0g
 
Vitamin A 3 % Vitamin C 37 %

Calcium 3 % Iron 1 %

Vitamin D 0 % Vitamin E 1 %

Thiamin 0 % Riboflavin 2 %

Niacin 1 % Folate 6 %

Vitamin B-6 3 % Vitamin B-12 0 %

Phosphorus 4 % Magnesium 3 %

Zinc 1 % Copper 7 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Other sites devoted to our dear daikon:

Check out this blog and a step-by-step recipe on making daikon horseradish.

A truly Japanese website, showcasing daikon in all forms here.

You can also peruse a plethora of daikon recipes here.

So dear readers, have you adapated other “truly Japanese” foods into your everday diet? Do share.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I use daikon in my Thai/Vietnamese soup all the time and huge chucks of…in fact, I start with a whole one because by the time I am done, I have used all of it. It takes awesome raw or cooked.

    I also use it pickled with pickled carrots in Vietnamese sandwiches…yum, yum.

    I make soba soup at home, and udon soup as well. I try my hand at sushi every once in a while, and eat lots of different kinds of “donburis”. We eat Thai food several times a week and there are many similar veggies involved. I love eating bokchoy and edamame at least a few times a week.

    We buy the sukiyaki meat the commissary for anything from Thai soup, to donburi to yakisoba. It also makes great jerkey meat if you want to dry it.

  2. The biggest additions to our eating here in Okinawa are mostly fruits: passionfruit, dragonfruit, kumquats, persimmons and starfruit! I love that they have okra here in season for so many months — my early southern memories are fulfilled with a little breading an oil!! 🙂

  3. Just tried using these this week in a Filipino dish. The fruit was a little plain, but made the dish filling. Thanks for the new recipes.

  4. I read that daikon have some sort of healing/medicinal qualities and that’s why the Asian people value them so highly. So, I tried them. I found I don’t care for the taste, but then I don’t like radishes either- go figure. They’re not bad tasting. I just didn’t care for them.

  5. We love tofu. The softer silken type we always cube into miso soup. The firmer “cotton” kind for stir fries great with something saltier (like spam) or something intense (spinach, bitter melon or mustard greens) to mellow out the flavors. The kids even like it plain and lightly fried. Ground chicken mixed with a package of the firmer tofu makes great “token” patties. 🙂

  6. I went to a friends house and she had carrots and daikon sliced like carrots and we dipped them in dressing. I personally liked it plain. Yummy!
    It is interesting and different in a good way. I really like it.
    I am going to try the recipe you shared Sounds great. I love that dressing. Feel free not to share the nutritional info on that stuff!!
    Great post!

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