Daikon is an East Asian big white radish, originally from China.
It has sweet-mild to peppery in flavour and juicy crisp. It is a cruciferous vegetable, which comes from the same family as kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli.
The word daikon comes from two Japanese words: dai (meaning large) and kon (meaning root).In Japan, daikon has been eaten for more than 1000 years in Japan. It is a staple in nearly all meals in Japan, Korea, and China. It is a big part of our diet, and we eat it many ways – raw, steamed, stewed, fried, pickled, dried (then simmer later ) and is even used as a medicine.
My Recent Lunch using Daikon!
Kiriboshi daikon ( sun-dried daikon) with arame seaweed, carrot and aburaage ( deep-fried tofu)
There are many dishes in Japanese cuisine that have a very western influence. Sometimes it’s completely non-Japanese except for one ingredient- Daikon. Daikon is treated as the ingredient that transforms western-style dishes into Japanese style.
Whenever we serve western-style foods with grated daikon, we call this new dish “wafu” – meaning Japanese style.
For example, spaghetti is Italian but we add grated daikon to spaghetti, we call it –
“ Wafu” spaghetti
Steak with grated daikon is wafu steak
Meat pattie with grated daikon is wafu humbagu (Japanese hamburger steak)
The list goes on…
Does this give you an idea of how daikon is a huge part of the Japanese diet?
Also, daikon has many health benefits:
- Cancer prevention
- Natural digestant
- Immune booster
- Antibacterial and antiviral effects
The best way to eat daikon is to have it raw, this maximises the potential it has to boost your bodies health. My cookbook Japanese Superfoods details the incredible nutritional and health benefits of daikon and other Japanese superfoods. My book explains the secrets of Japanese cuisine that have been a source of unparalleled health and vitality.
Daikon is so versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways, why don’t you start having this amazing white radish to your diet?
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