Daikon – An antidote to winter veg

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January and February are our hunger gap months when nothing new seems to be growing here in Sussex and all we can do is wait for the soil to warm up.

Daikon is a rare veg that transcends winter and summer seasons and tastes as warming and fresh cooked as well as raw.

An added benefit is that our Fin and Farm Daikon is grown biodynamically by Toos at her farm in Cuckfield (the north-west side of Lewes).

Fresh and peppery, Daikon – also known as Mooli, Icicle Radish or White Radish – is lighter in flavour than our hot, spicy pink varieties and a little bit denser so can stand some light cooking.

10 Ways to use

Don’t limit to stir-fries and coleslaw (although delicious as well) – Daikon is pretty versatile in the kitchen in other recipes:

  1. James Martin’s Poached Smoked Salmon Salad uses an oriental twist as a tangy salad base.
  2. Peter Coucquyt uses Daikon as a wrap for a cucumber and oyster starter.
  3. Cubed Daikon is delicious roasted with other veg.
  4. Eat raw as a crudité with a dip – works very well with peanut sauces and also fish based dips.
  5. Use instead of celery in soups, stews and stock.
  6. They are the basis of a meaty Cantonese snack – Turnip Cake (actually Daikon is usually used) and this recipe in Jamie Oliver magazine is easy to follow…although this recipe has actually substituted turnips!
  7. Try a vegetarian Daikon ‘steak’ – thick and juicy with a salty sweet piquancy.
  8. As a savoury ‘noodle’ – crispy or soft Daikon Namul.
  9. Try Daikon ‘chips’ – peel and slice and brush with melted butter. Bake in a hot oven til crisp.
  10. Puree with butter and cream as a substitute for mashed potato (best result pureed in a food processor).

Daikon is often, incorrectly, known as a carrot in Asian cooking – but in theory, you could use very much as a carrot in savoury recipes.

One interesting recipe that is worth a try (and we will post an update when we have given this a go) is Daikon poached in red wine as a dessert accompaniment.

Daikon Radish Compote

Recipe by Spacy Tang

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Daikon Compote

This is definitely a recipe I am going to try on unsuspecting guests very soon. But maybe trial first on the family…Can imagine it has a bit of a sour plum tartness which would go very well with a delicious vanilla clotted cream ice cream – something extremely rich and possibly with a little ginger…

Anyway, here’s the basis of the recipe.

Daikon are huge radishes, so any recipes which you have up your sleeves would be well received and we’ll be happy to share around.

Nutrition

Daikon radish is rich in Vitamin C (so chuck a little in your smoothies and blends).  It also contains enzymes which help digest starchy foods.  Conversely, they also contain indigestible carbohydrates which help cleanse and relieve constipation (delicately put).

Storing and Freezing

There’s plenty to go around, so freezing Daikon is an option.

Storing in Fridge

To store in the fridge, you need to keep the radish humid or it will dry out and taste rather starchy.  Just store in a plastic freezer bag or wrap with dampened paper.  They will keep well for 3-5 days.

Freezing

You can freeze for up to 6-8 months but, if slicing or freezing in chunks, then you’ll need to blanch them first (cook in boiling water for 2-3 mins) otherwise they will become watery and fibrous.

Alternatively, you can freeze raw if you grate them first. Still a little fibrous but fine for soups.

 

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Daikon – An antidote to winter veg

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