Daikon radishes are a staple in Asian cuisine, the name daikon is actually Japanese for “great root.” Although the word “daikon” is used in America to specifically refer to these large white radishes, in Japan, daikon simply refers to all large radishes. They’re a prolific vegetable and can often grow up to 20″ in length with a diameter of 4″, so they are often used as a cover crop to break up compaction in heavy soils (we do this at Sarvodaya Farms). Daikon is a wonderful and versatile vegetable, and is said to have a variety of health benefits from stimulating weight loss to increase the power of the digestive system.
daikon radish can be prepared in many ways. In Asian cultures, daikon is eaten fresh, stir-fried, pickled, stewed, and made into soup. It is a staple vegetable in Korea, where it is used to make Mool Kimchi (Radish Kimchi).
To eat daikon raw, just cut it up into strips and dress with some lemon juice, salt, and red chili pepper (if you like heat). You can also add it to your salads (put the green tops in your salad too!).
Daikon can also be pickled very easily. You can make a simple lacto-fermented pickle with just a salt brine (see recipe below) or you can get a bit fancy and make Mool Kimchi (see recipe below).
Daikon works as a center-piece for a stir-fry too. Chop it in to thick sticks like you would a carrot and stir fry it with some of its own greens, your Sarvodaya stir fry mix, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Makes for a delicious an simple meal.