Daikon and Carrot Pickle
Daikon is a type of radish that is prominent in South and East Asian countries. The vegetable resembles a large white carrot, and its name translates to the Japanese word “big root”.
A winter radish that grows larger and has a longer growth time than red radishes, the daikon is planted during the late summer or early fall and harvested in the cooler weather months.
Daikon can be grown as a cover crop, being used to help reduce erosion by loosening the soil, earning the name tillage radish.
Also known as luobo, winter radish, oilseed radish, icicle radish, and white radish.
It’s commonly eaten cooked, raw, and pickled along with carrot.
Unlike the strong peppery taste of red radishes this vegetable has a slightly sweet and mildly spicy flavor.
Daikon is a very popular ingredient in Asian cuisine and is the most regularly eaten vegetable in Japan.
The most common daikon radishes are long, white, and have a green leaf. Although they can grow in elongated, spherical, and cylinder type shapes, while also coming in red, green, and purple colors.
When preparing the daikon and carrots prior to pickling I tend to use a mandoline slicer to finely cut the ingredients into strips.
There are many variations of daikon, all of which differ in shape, size, color, and flavor, depending on where they are cultivated.
For example the Korean radish mu is shorter and thicker in size, while being green at the top and bolder in flavor.
The Cantonese variant called lobak is green towards the top and more peppery in taste.
In China there’s the colorful watermelon radish, with its green skin, pink interior, and overall has a calmer taste.
Daikon is known for its nutritional properties, being a low calorie vegetable with high levels of vitamin c, vitamin b, and potassium.
The health benefits from eating this nutrient rich plant are numerous. Daikon can help boost digestion, act as an anti inflammatory, and help prevent various different diseases.
As a vegetable that is popular across many countries, daikon is a very versatile food that is prepared in a variety of ways.
Every part of the radish is edible, leading to many different combinations of meals. When cooked it’s used in stews, soups, and stir-fries.
Eaten raw daikon can be used to garnish salads or eaten as chips. Daikon is often used as pickles, like in the Japanese dishes of bettara zuke or takuan.
Banh Mi Sandwich
In Vietnam daikon is added with pickled carrots to help create the popular banh mi sandwich.
Daikon and carrot pickle is traditionally made by combining sliced daikon and carrots, and letting them marinate in a vinegar brine.