Diggin' up the dirt on daikon radishes. These plump, large, carrot-like white radishes translate to English as 'big root', and are one of several popular varieties grown and enjoyed predominantly in Asia. And they do indeed get big- I've seen some that could have easily doubled as a baseball bat! Both the leaves and roots can be eaten raw, pickled, roasted, stir fried or baked. Their flavour is mild, peppery and sweet; they're often mellower and juicer than their better-known small red radish counterparts. They are a great source of Vitamin C and of folate.
Simply rinse and gently scrub to remove any dirt. Chop greens away from root, in order to maintain optimal freshness of both parts. Unless it has been languishing in the back of your vegetable crisper for too long and gone a bit wrinkly (no judgement), there is no need to peel daikon. Try thinly slicing, grating, dicing, julienning, or even using the root whole.
Ideas for using raw daikon radish and/or greens:
-Take a note from Mexican snacks where many a fruit or vegetable is enjoyed raw, sprinkled with lime & chilli; chop into finger size pieces or rounds, drizzle with a bit of hemp seed or olive oil, sea salt, lime juice, and a touch of chilli flakes for a refreshing bite.
-Pickle it; daikon pickles are easy and delicious.
-Add grated to salads or slaws; daikon's crunch factor is a nice winter stand-in for summery cucumber.
-Like salad turnips, enjoy thinly sliced to scoop up yummy dips- I made a beetroot hummus that I devoured with sliced daikon and carrot.
-Throw the leaves into a salad, as is done in Japan.
-Or, toss the greens into a smoothie for a little extra greeny goodness.
-Stuff into a bánh mì inspired sandwich.
Ideas for cooked dishes:
-Stir fries a great destination for daikon; try simmered with tamari and a few other vegetables and your choice of protein.
-Add to a winter vegetable pad thai with rice noodles, the greens, too.
-Spiralize! Their size makes daikon a great candidate for turning into long noodles that you could then bathe in peanut sauce, mmm.
-Fritters using grated daikon, rice flour and ginger.
-Fries. Enough said. But really, I cut them into fries/hot chip size and shape, toss in olive oil, sea salt and curry powder, then oven bake for scrumptious and healthy fries.
-Stews and soups are always a good place for some extra chopped daikon root and leaves.
-Simmer up an Indian style daikon curry to serve over basmati rice.
Be sure to remove the leaves from the root, or else both will wilt and fade. Unwashed daikon root will keep well for a week or two in the refrigerator; wrap in a reusable bag to store. If you chop any of the large root off to use in smaller amounts be sure to wrap or container well, as they can be quite pungent in the fridge. The leaves are best stored in a separate bag, and like many greens are at their best within a day or two.
Have questions about daikon or another unknown vegetable from your box? Need inspiration for something new to do with the tried-and-true? Made one of the shared recipes? Let us know! Message or tag @streamsideorganics and @nakedcakesandwholefoods
Created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes and Wholefoods