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!