If you were like me many years ago you were wondering, “what do I do with that?”  That, being Daikon Radish…that giant, white tubular thing in the veggie section or at your local farmer’s market!  Well, like little red radishes you can pretty much do the same things with it except daikon is a whole lot easier to work with than its tiny little cousin.

Daikon Radish

Have you ever been to a Japanese restaurant and wondered what that little pile of white grated stuff is on your plate?  Well, it’s daikon radish and they have it on the plate because of its own enzyme content that helps you digest the other foods you’re eating like “tempura.”

So to give you the real low down health benefits of daikon radish I will take a quote from “The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia” by Rebecca Woods: “A sweet and pungent tonic, daikon tonifies the lung and liver meridians.  Fresh daikon contains diuretics, decongestants, and the digestive enzymes diastase, amylase, and esterase.  It is effective against many bacterial and fungal infections and it contains a substance that inhibits the formation of carcinogens in the body.”

The glorious thing about daikon is that there are a lot of different ways to prep and eat it!  For instance, you can saute, braise, ferment, pickle or just eat it raw.  I almost always peel it unless it is organic and pretty pristine looking.  One of my fave ways to use it is as a side condiment to a meal in the form of a grated salad.  Depending on how much of the radish you’ve grated then I add a three to one ratio of extra-virgin olive oil to lemon juice, sea salt to taste and fresh ground pepper.  You could also add in grated carrot for color and a little sweetness.  Let it marinate while you’re preparing the rest of the meal, taste it again for seasoning and serve it up!

Tell me what you’re doing with your daikon!

7 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    Shane, OK I’m not commenting on the radished, but have another question. Just recently got a jar of coconut oil – how do I store it, and what do I use it for besides frying my eggs? :-). The jar says to use it as a “luxurious body oil” – guess I’ll moisturize while I whip up breakfast (he, heee). love, Jenny C.

  2. Shane Kelly says:

    Hey Jenny…sorry for the delayed reply…just got back into town! Store the coconut oil at room temperature. You can use that coconut oil for just about anything you can conjure up. Saute veggies with it, put some in cooked oatmeal, melt a teaspoon in your hot tea to stave off hunger pangs, bake with it but use a quarter less than the amount of fat the recipe calls for, throw some into your soup and rub a bit it in your hair for a nice sheen. Hope this helps Honey!

  3. Shane Kelly says:

    Here’s a post from another reader that came to me via email:

    I add Daikon to pot roast in place of potatoes to make a low-carb meal. When it cooks with the roast, it actually absorbs the yummy flavors, and my husband loves it.

    I also add a lot of daikon to my homemade chicken vegetable soup – all non-starchy veggies and chicken. Yum!

    I’m going to try your radish salad.
    ~Loretta Peters-Martin, CCH, ACH

  4. Shane Kelly says:

    Thanks Loretta…those are all fab ideas!

  5. Susan Capuano says:

    Thanks for the great information. Loved it…too much I over poroduced quanity. Can I freeze or can remainder and for how long??? Thanks again.

    • Shane says:

      Hey Susan, I’ve never tried to freeze diakon but give it a try. You can only ferment if you haven’t added anthing to the grated daikon…that’s something I’ve been wanting to try. And, you can always give the extra away and share the love of real food!

      • Photocarrie says:

        I’ve freezed daikon. Chop it up, give it a blanch, then toss it in the freezer in ziplock bags. When you’re ready to cook with it, just pull it out and toss it in.
        I think the freezer has become my best friend since starting GAPS. It’s a wonderful way to preserve veggies from their growth season, or stock up on sale items without the produce going bad before you can ferment/cook them all. :)
        Here’s an excerpt from the TX A&M horticulture site:
        (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/food-technology/nutrition/radishes/)

        “…The radishes should be scrubbed and washed with cold water and the tops and bottoms should be trimmed. Do not peel the prepared radish; leave the skin intact. It is important to know that frozen radishes have a different texture from fresh radishes due to the fact that radishes are high in water content. Therefore, it is important to cut them into smaller pieces before freezing them. If the radishes are kept whole and frozen, the hard outer skin will split open and cause more textural defects. Blanching needs to be done on radishes. Blanching the cut pieces in boiling water for 2-3 minutes should be sufficient to slow down enzymatic reactions in the plant tissue and keep the color vibrant. After blanching, place the vegetable in ice cold water and drain well. Place in appropriate freezer bag and place in freezer.”

        Blanching Procedures
        Scrub in cold water and trim the tops and bottoms. Do not peel, but dice into smaller pieces.
        Blanch for 2-3 minutes.
        Place in ice cold water; drain.
        Place in appropriate plastic bag; freeze.

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