This Month's Ingredient
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Japanese Radish, Daikon 大根

Best available from November to March, though Daikon can be easily found all across Japan almost anytime. They are rich in folic acid, Vitamin C and anthocyanins and said to be an effective cancer-fighting food source. Also relatively low in calories, cholesterol, fat and high in roughage and water content, is an excellent food choice those who on weight control and diet programme.

Daikon juice can help in soothing digestive system and detoxify the body, often used for treating piles and constipation naturally.  It is also good for treating skin disorders, such as dry skin and rashes.  Daikon leaves contain the most Vitamin C, protein and calcium.

Choose

Look for those free of growth cracks with firm and crisp roots. Always choose a heavy Daikon. They are sweeter and have a high water content, making them more juicy and tastier to eat compared to the light ones.

Prepare

Daikon leaves – Pesticide residue are often found on its leaves. After removing off from the Daikon top, dice the leaves and blanch them in hot boiling water to remove any impurities. Drain off the water well and pat the blanched leaves dry before using.

Daikon root – Remove the outer skin before use. This will help to remove any impurities that comes from the soil.

Store

To retain its freshness and moisture, always cut off its leaves. Wrap up the root with newspaper and then plastic bag. It usually keep well for more than a week in refrigeration.

Use

Most Japanese cook Daikon, but they also use it raw in salads or even pickled dishes. Because it is such a wholesome vegetable, every part of the Daikon is being make use fully. For example,

  1. Daikon leaves being the most beneficial part of all are mostly used for Furikake (rice topping), garnishing on fried rice or with miso soup.
  2. Upper body is sweetest and juicy.  Mainly used for  Japanese hotpot- Oden,  salad, stew or soup like Tonjiru.
  3. Lower body tastes more pungent. Grate the Daikon and add on top of Japanese hamburg, grilled fish or Tamago-yaki as a topping.

 

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