The Daikon (Japanese for ‘large Root’) root vegetable is mild flavoured, very large, white East Asian radish. The roots are large (often 4-8cms) diameter and up to 50 cm’s long. There are three distinct shapes - spherical, oblong and cylindrical.
It is also known as white radish, Japanese radish, oriental radish, Chinese radish, mooli and lo bok. Although many believe the Daikon was first cultivated in Japan, it originated in the Mediterranean and was brought to China for cultivation around 500 B.C.
Daikon is an extremely versatile vegetable and can be used just as you would a radish. It is tasty raw in salads and served as crudités with dips. It can be cooked and mashed, served hot as a vegetable or in pies and casseroles as you would use turnip. It can be pickled, added to soups, stir-fried, baked, roasted, boiled and grilled. Like all types of radish, cut pieces become crisp, or will curl into striking shapes if left in iced water for a while before use.
Raw daikon is very low in calories and rich in vitamin C. It also contains active enzymes that are helpful with digestion. A tea made with grated daikon and hot water can help to reduce fever and act as a decongestant.
Daikon will keep well in the refrigerator if they are placed in a sealed container or plastic bag. You don’t need to use the whole radish at once, just cut off the amount you want and put the rest back in the bag in the fridge.