The King Of Radishes: What To Do With Daikon

The Daikon radish has been an essential ingredient in Asian cooking for quite some time, but it’s just starting to catch on in America. Unlike the small, red radishes that's familiar to Westerners, a good-sized daikon can be as long as a man’s arm and almost as thick. The flavor is sweet and refreshing with a little bit of spiciness, which is mostly concentrated in the peel. Here are some suggestions if you’re perplexed on what to do with it.

One of the easiest and tastiest things to do with daikon is to pickle it. Make a bath of warm water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add a little turmeric if you want the pickles to have a yellow color. Leave thinly-sliced daikon in the liquid for at least 24 hours. These make a great addition to sandwiches.

Daikon is also great for making pan-fried cakes, sort of like corn fritters. Grate it, pat it dry, and sprinkle it with salt. Mix with garlic, onion, egg, and breadcrumbs and shape into patties. Pour vegetable oil in a skillet and fry the patties about three minutes on each side.

Fresh daikon is also a great salad ingredient. You can make a simple salad with daikon and crushed peanuts in a vinegar and sugar dressing, or go more complex and pair it with lettuce, carrots, or even strawberries.