Pickled Daikon 大根の漬物

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  • Marinated in rice vinegar, sake, chili pepper, sugar, and salt, this easy Japanese Pickled Daikon recipe makes the best accompaniment to many of your main dishes. It’s tangy, slightly sweet and refreshingly crunchy. 

    Pickled Daikon in a small bowl.

    Root vegetables like daikon radishes are especially delicious in winter months, so let’s grab some daikon at your local Japanese or Asian grocery store and make this easy Japanese Pickled Daikon!

    Pickled Daikon in a bowl.

    In Japan, pickles, or we call it Tsukemono (漬物), are a staple for Japanese meal.  They are usually served with rice and considered as a necessary accompaniment to Japanese meals.  There are a wide variety of Tsukemono, from simple Pickled Cucumbers preserved in salt to delicate vegetables preserved in rice bran.  There is even a Tsukemono (called Fukujinzuke 福神漬) that goes with Japanese Curry!

    Daikon (大根) are large white radishes used in Asian cooking. They taste like radishes but with a milder flavor.  The thickest green part of the root closest to the top is the sweetest, whereas the narrow bottom area of the root is peppery and pungent.  The texture varies depending on how you prepare the radish. They are crisp when raw and tender when cooked.

    Daikon Radish(Image Courtesy of YumSugar)

    Daikon – Selection & Preparation

    Daikon radishes are available all year round but they are extra juicy and have a milder taste during the cold winter months. Although they are often sold without their tops at Asian market, the entire plant is edible. Usually Japanese stores sell whole daikon including the leaves. And the green leaves are the best part of the vegetable, so don’t throw them away. I like to chop the leaves into small pieces and add them into Miso Soup (so good!).

    Daikon tastes the best when it’s juicy.  To select good daikon, the skin should be smooth and it should feel heavy. The dried daikon might taste peppery, so be careful when you select daikon at a store. You can cut off whatever amount you need for your cooking, and place the remaining in a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks.  Daikon is a versatile and convenient root vegetable; Aside from enjoying it pickled or raw in salads, it can also be stir-fried, grilled, or simmered in soup. I often use daikon and the greens in soup, nabe, garnish, and Oden.

    Pickled Daikon in a bowl next to the flower pot.

    How to make pickled daikon

    When you pickle daikon, it will turn into an amazing side dish.  All you need is the right amount of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt (sake and red chili pepper are optional).  Even the peppery daikon will mellow out nicely with a sweet and salty flavor when you pickle them. To remove the bitter & peppery taste of daikon, you can soak it in cold water.

    The amount of sugar and salt might look too much for your standard pickle dish.  However, daikon releases lots of water during pickling process which dilutes the condiments.  Also, the Japanese always eat pickled dishes with rice.  The tangy sweet pickles and plain rice complement each other very well.  Therefore, these pickles are not meant to eaten alone like a salad.  We consider pickles as a palate cleanser between dishes and we call this kind of dish “Hashi Yasume” (literally, chopstick rest  箸休め).

    Pickled Daikon in a small bowl.

    If pickles are not your thing or you prefer to eat daikon raw, then try my Daikon Salad.  The crunchy texture is fun and addicting to eat and so refreshing!  Hope you enjoy cooking with daikon!

    Daikon Salad | JustOneCookbook.com

    Daikon Salad

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    4.67 from 9 votes
    Pickled Daikon | JustOneCookbook.com
    Pickled Daikon
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    10 mins
     
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
    Servings: 6
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • 1 lb daikon radish (Japanese white radish)
    • 1 dried red chili pepper
    • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp sake (optional)
    • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
    • cup sugar (⅓ cup = Approx 5 Tbsp)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Pickled Daikon Radishes Ingredients
    2. Peel daikon and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
      Pickled Daikon Radishes 1
    3. Cut the chili peppers into small pieces and discard the seeds if you prefer less spicy.
      Pickled Daikon Radishes 2
    4. Put all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag and rub well.
      Pickled Daikon Radishes 3
    5. Remove the air from the bag and close it. Keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. We like to pickle daikon for 2 days. Enjoy!
      Pickled Daikon Radishes 4
    Recipe Notes

    Pickled Daikon can be stored in the refrigerator for a month.

     

    Equipment you will need:

    • 1 Ziploc bag

     

     

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

     

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