How to Prepare Daikon Radish

By Jenny Harrington

Large, white daikon radishes have a mild spiciness compared with regular red radishes. Japanese and other Asian cuisines often serve the radishes pickled, but you can also enjoy them raw or cooked. Daikon radishes similar in size to a carrot usually have a crisper, less woody texture than larger roots, making them best suited to eating raw or pickling. The larger roots aren't as tender, but they develop a good flavor and texture when you cook them.


Fresh Preparation

Wash the daikon under cool running water, scrubbing the surface of the root thoroughly with a vegetable brush.

Peel the skin from the daikon with a vegetable peeler. Cut off the stem end and the tip of the root with a clean, sharp knife.

Slice the daikon as preferred. Cut widthwise into 1/8- to 1/4-inch rounds, or cut lengthwise into ¼-inch matchsticks. Alternatively, dice the radish into 1/4-inch cubes, or grate it with the medium holes on a vegetable grater.

Mix the sliced or grated daikon with a leafy green salad, or add it to coleslaw or potato salad for a slightly spicy crunch. Serve raw daikon as a garnish on the side of the plate or on top of a fish or chicken dish.

Tender Roasting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash and peel the daikon radish, then cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices. Wash and cut any other root vegetables for the dish, such as carrots or onions.

Place the daikon and the other vegetables in a large bowl. Toss the vegetables with just enough olive oil to coat them thinly and evenly.

Season as desired. Add 1 clove of crushed garlic per pound of vegetables. Add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes or other seasonings to taste.

Spread the coated daikon and vegetables in a single layer in a baking pan. Roast in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the daikon is tender and beginning to lightly brown. Serve warm.

Refrigerator Pickles

Wash and peel the daikon. Slice the root into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place the slices in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over the sliced daikon, using 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt for every 2 cups of sliced radishes. Refrigerate for one hour so the salt can help the excess moisture leach from the sliced daikon.

Transfer the daikon to a colander. Rinse and drain the slices under cold running water to get rid of the excess salt.

Mix the rice vinegar and sesame oil in a storage container, using up to 2 tablespoons vinegar and ½ teaspoon oil for every 2 cups of daikon. Season the pickling mixture with ground black pepper, red pepper flakes or fresh grated ginger to taste. For sweeter pickles, add up to 1 tablespoon of sugar per 2 cups radishes.

Add the daikon to the pickling mixture and toss to coat. Seal the container and store it in the refrigerate for at least eight hours before serving. Use within a month.