Merry Christmas! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve in the U.S. I wish you are having a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family and I’d like to send you my warmest greetings to you and loved ones.
Namasu (紅白なます) is a daikon and carrot salad lightly pickled in sweetened vinegar. This dish was introduced to Japan from China around 700s (Nara period) and it is especially enjoyed during the New Years in Japan. Red and white are considered celebratory colors in Japan and these colors are often used in many traditional ceremonies.
Namasu is extremely easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. If you like lightly pickled salad, you will enjoy this dish as an appetizer or on the side. In Japan, this dish is also called Kohaku (red & white) Namasu. Besides daikon and carrot, you can also include cucumbers for this delightful dish.
The key to this dish is to make sure to squeeze out all the liquid from the veggie, it creates optimal crunchiness.
In Japan, there are usually a few strips of yuzu zest on top but I omitted because I couldn’t find fresh yuzu locally. When added, the fragrance is quite refreshing so I hope you are able to find fresh yuzu in your area (unfortunately it won’t be easy to find outside of Japan).
I made a video to show you how easy it is to make Namasu. And please follow my YouTube channel if you haven’t.
- 4 inch (10 cm) daikon, cut in half
- 2 inch (5 cm) carrot
- 1 tsp. salt
- A few strips of yuzu zest (optional)
- 1½ Tbsp. sugar
- 1½ Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. water
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Peel the daikon and carrot.
- Thinly slice the daikon and carrot lengthwise into ⅛-inch-thick slabs (3 mm thickness). Stack a few slabs at a time and cut lengthwise into ⅛-inch-thick strips.
- Put daikon and carrot julienned strips in a bowl and sprinkle salt. Give a gentle massage and set aside for 5-10 minutes
- Meanwhile combine all the ingredients for the seasonings in a small bowl and whisk well together.
- Squeeze water out of daikon and carrot and put in a new bowl.
- Pour the seasonings and mix well togther. Garnish with thin strips of yuzu and serve at room temperature or chilled.