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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Diakon Radish


Daikon Radish:

About:

Daikon (Raphanus sativus) is a mild flavored winter radish characterized by fast growing leaves and a long white napiform root.  The name "Daikon" comes from two Japanese words "dai' (meaning large) and "kon" (meaning root).   It is a member of the Brassica family along with cauliflower, Brussel's sprouts, and turnips.   The roots are 2 - 4 inches in diameter and 6 - 20 inches long.  

Uses:

Daikon can be eaten raw in salads or cut into strips or chips for relish trays.  It can be stir-fried, grilled, baked, boiled, or broiled.    Daikon can be used as a radish.  It may be grated for use as a condiment.   In Japanese cuisine many types of pickles are made with daikon.   Daikon is also frequently grated and mixed into ponzu, a soy sauce and citrus juice condiment.   Daikon can be shredded and used in place of cabbage in a slaw.    It can be cubed and roasted with poat roast or roasted vegetables.  You can use daikon as you would carrots, baked, boiled, in stews or soup.  To prepare the daikon peel skin as you would a carrot and cut for whatever style your  recipe calls for.   

History:

 Daikon is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean and was brought to China for cultivation around 500 B.C.   Daikon quickly spread throughout Asia, where it was traditionally across the region.  Today it is still grown in China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.  Most recently it is primarily grown in North America in Texas, and California.

My Story:

Daikon is another one of those vegetables that I did not come across until my supermarket days.   It was one of the variety items that did not sell very well,  but we were required to carry by our bosses.  Well, when I learned the name "daikon", it came to me that the name rhymed with the camera brand "Nikon", and I thought of the Paul Simon song "Kodachrome".  One line goes, "I gotta Nikon camera; Love to take a photograph"    Well, it rhymes and has the same number of syllables as, "I gotta "daikon radish".   So, that's what comes into my head every time daikon radish comes up.

Nutrition:

Daikon is considered a super food.  It contains  large amounts of enzymes that aid in fat and starch digestion as well as high levels of vitamin C, Phosphorus, and Potassium.  It contains other phytonutrients that fight cancer.  The extract from the seeds are a powerful immune booster and cancer fighter. Not only is the root eaten, but the leaves also are rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and iron.

Health Benefits:

Daikon both in food form or extract is a very effective diuretic.  It causes the kidneys to process waste  more effectively , and thus excrete more urine.  This helps to improve kidney function and treat edema.  It helps clean the blood eliminating toxins through the kidneys, liver, and sweat glands.

Season:

Daikon can be found in the market 12 months of the year.  

Selecting and Storing:

Choose daikon that are free of growth cracks, and bruises with firm crisp roots.  Daikon will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container or plastic bag. 

So..... Eat up!  Enjoy!  I'll show you how.


Simple but Good:

Daikon, Carrot, and Broccoli Slaw.

8 ounces of daikon
6 ounces baby carrot
6 ounces broccoli stem, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 1/2 TBS minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 TBS Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce.

Fit food processor with large hole grating disk.  Working with a few pieces at a time , push diakon, carrots, and broccoli through feeding tube.  Transfer to a bowl and add green onions, vinegar, ginger, oil and chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl.  Pour over vegetables and toss to coat.  Season with salt and serve.
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