Daikon is such a versatile veggie you can use in salads, soups, or even eat raw! Get the most out of your fresh Japanese radish with these deliciously easy daikon recipes anyone can make at home.
In This Post You’ll Learn
Why We Love This
Daikon radish is one of our favourite Asian vegetables to cook with, whether it’s the star of the show or as a refreshing side dish.
When served raw, daikon has a deliciously crispy crunchy texture. But when cooked, it soaks up all the amazing flavours of your dish and transforms into a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Related: 15+ Gochujang Recipes / 12+ Healthy Recipes With Miso Paste
How to Buy Fresh Daikon Radish
Look for clean, bright white daikon radishes that are firm to the touch. If they still have their tops on, look for fresh, firm and vibrant leaves and stems (they’re also edible, but best when cooked!). If they have soft spots or have become slightly wrinkled at the tips, they’re past their freshest.
Soggy Daikon Revival Hack: If you’ve bought a fresh daikon and accidentally left it a bit long (aka forgot about it) in the fridge, you can revive it by soaking for a few hours, or overnight, in cold water in your sink!
What is Daikon?
Daikon radish (also known as Japanese radish) is a crispy, crunchy vegetable that’s actually popular across many Asian cuisines. It’s a long, white root similar in shape to a carrot, but usually much bigger.
This vegetable is related to other root vegetables like turnips, kohlrabi and horseradish, and goes by many names depending on where it’s grown.
In Japan, it goes by daikon or 大根, which translates as big root (dai = ‘big’, kon = “root”, while in Korea it’s called mu (무). There are some subtle differences in colour, shape and flavour depending on the variety.
Daikon is such a versatile vegetable that is low in calories but packed with nutrients. It can be served raw in salads or as a garnish. It’s amazing cooked in stews, soups or stir fries. And it’s even better when added to homemade pickles or ferments like Korean kimchi.
Japanese radish is usually available all year round. Look for it at Asian grocery stores or well stocked supermarket chains in the fruit and vegetables section.
6+ Easy Daikon Recipes
Whole daikon radish lasts best when stored in the fridge. Wrap it in a compostable produce bag or in a damp towel. Sliced daikon should always be stored in an airtight container, which you may like to take outside before you open – see our next FAQ below!
A whole daikon radish doesn’t have a strong smell on its own, but everything changes once it has been sliced! Daikon is part of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables (like turnips or broccoli etc) that are also known to contain varying amounts of sulphur. Daikon in particular has a much stronger, bitter smell once sliced, but the good news is this dissipates once cooked.
It depends on how you plan to use it! You can slice it julienne or dice into cubes. You can grate it, shred it or finely shave it. For simmered daikon in particular, you can slice it into thick rounds, then round out the edges using a peeler or paring knife. This step is known as mentori in Japanese.
Yes, you can. Slice into small cubes and blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain well and transfer into an airtight container. Store in the freezer for around 2-3 months.
Best Ways to Use Daikon
Use grated daikon as a garnish for:
Add sliced or cubed daikon to:
More amazing ways to use daikon:
- Serve raw or baked daikon slices with your favourite dips like sriracha mayo, sriracha aioli or gochujang sauce.
- Roast with other veggies like carrots and potatoes, or serve alongside roast chicken.
- Grate or spiralise into daikon noodles.
- Braise in spicy seasonings similar to Korean braised tofu.
- Add to stir fries like tteokbokki (or non spicy tteokbokki).
- Pickled radish is the perfect side dish to spicy chicken recipes.
- Add to potato pancakes or okonomiyaki.
- Make your own daikon flower garnish.
These recipes are sure to help you find new and exciting ways to use up that crispy daikon radish waiting in your fridge. All you need to do now is decide: Which recipe will you try first?
And if you’ve already tried one or more of these tasty recipes, let us know how it turned out in the comments!
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