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Chinese Radish, (Daikon)

 

Chinese Radish, (Daikon)Daikon (from Japanese, literally “large root”), Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, also called Oriental radish, Chinese radish and Mooli (from Hindi Muulii), is a mild-flavored, very large, white East Asian radish. Despite being known most commonly by its Japanese name, it did not originate in Japan, but rather in continental Asia.

Although there are many varieties of daikon, the most common in Japan, the aokubi-daikon, has the shape of a giant carrot, approximately 20 to 35 cm (7.9 to 14 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter. One of the most unusually shaped varieties of daikon cultivated in Kagoshima Prefecture is the turnip-shaped sakurajima daikon, which often grows as large as 50 cm (20 in) in diameter and weighs as much as 45 kg (99 lb) .

The flavour is generally rather mild compared to smaller radishes.

Use

In Chinese cuisine, turnip cake and chai tow kway are made with daikon.

In Korean cuisine, kkakdugi and nabak kimchi use the vegetable.

In Japanese cuisine, many types of pickles are made with daikon including takuan and bettarazuke. Daikon is also frequently used shredded and mixed into ponzu (a soy sauce and yuzu juice condiment) as a dip. Simmered dishes are also popular such as oden. Cut and dried daikon is called ‘Kiriboshi-daikon'(literally, cut-dried daikon) which is a common method of preserving food in Japan. Daikon radish sprouts (‘Kaiware-daikon’) are used for salad or garnishing of sashimi.

Nutritional information

Daikon is very low in food energy. A 3 ounce (85 g) serving contains only 18 Calories (75 kJ), but provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Daikon also contains the active enzyme myrosinase.

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