Daikon is a mild flavoured winter radish that resembles a large white carrot. The word daikon actually comes from two Japanese words, dai (meaning large) and kon (meaning root). This root vegetable is often 6 to 20 inches in length and about 2 to 4 inches in diameter. It is also known as mooli. When buying daikon, select radishes that are free of cracks and pick ones that feel heavy and have fresh leaves.
All radishes have excellent detoxifier properties, it is good for the liver and increases the supply of fresh oxygen in the blood. Daikon is full of indigestible carbohydrates which helps your body to retain water and combats constipation issues.
Daikon is rich in vitamin C, providing 34% RDA in a 3 oz portion. This radish also contains active enzymes that help aid digestion, particularly of starchy foods. The leaves on a daikon radish are edible and are also rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, and iron, so they are worth using instead of discarding.
Daikon will keep well in the refrigerator if placed in a sealed container or plastic bag to keep humidity high. Wrap a dampened paper towel around the radishes to ensure they remain fresh during the storage period. You can also freeze radishes for a period of 6-8 months, but blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes prior to freezing them.
Preparing & Cooking Tips
Unlike other radishes, daikon is as good cooked as it is raw. Grate it into salads, simmer it in a soup, or pickle it. To prepare, peel the skin with a vegetable peeler, and cut to the style you prefer. A Japanese secret to cooking daikon is to use water in which rice has been washed or a bit of rice bran added to keep the daikon white and will eliminate any bitterness or sharpness.
Daikon Two Ways