Yoshizen's Blog

Cooking Daikon ( Japanese / Chinese White Radish )


Daikon (大根 in Japanese) is a sister of Radish (yes, that red small one) or Swede and  hey are all in the same  Brassicaceae  family, hence having the same four-petals flower like Rape flower (but Daikon’s flower is in pale violet to white = in fact pretty pretty, innocent looked flower  🙂 )

Despite it is one of the most common root vegetable in Japan (also in China = Japan is exporting its shredded and dried products to China hundreds of thousands of tons every year) when I came to England, it was not in greengrocer’s  (yet, French calls it as Molly and eat a lots though, theirs having black skin and as big as Japanese one  (up to 4″ or 10 cm diameter = hence, it resembles girl’s leg with black tights = so, to see it in the piled-up mountain in St’ Michelle market in Paris, it looked very sexy  😀 )

(In Japan, call a girl “Daikon ashi” (Daikon leg) is a worst insult 😉 )

Daikon-A09A1463Even though Daikon is so popular and ubiquitous though, you may not see them in a restaurant menu —– situation looked the same in French or Chinese, I don’t remember I ever seen this vegetable in their menu, except a very rustic or family kitchen style restaurant, otherwise as a small side-dish to drink Sake = such as I describe hereafter.  🙂

( If you ever seen disc-shaped yellow pickles = Takuan = it is one of the pickled style Daikon though, it may not in an expensive Japanese restaurant  🙂 )

—– So, how Japanese is cooking this vegetable in their kitchen ? 

Daikon is very easy to cook vegetable as its own or with another materials —– It can be eaten  even  raw = grated ( the source to dip Tempra) or finely cut into thread (comes with Sashimi) and often boiled with Octopus or Squid because the Daikon is having a Digestive Enzyme which soften Octopus, on top of many nutrition and vitamins   🙂 

The photo above is  Furo-fuki Daikon ( 風呂吹大根 ) = Daikon was boiled with dashi, that’s all !

 * Boil the Dashi = as the powder, or in a small packet,  or use Dashi Kombu (Kelp sea weed) and a bit of Salt.

* Then put cut Daikon and boil — may be 60 min or so, until it was cooked soft (— it would be disintegrated if it was boiled too long —– still, it will make a nice soup.   🙂  )

Daikon-A09A1573Even simpler is Dengaku ( 田楽) = just boil Daikon in a plain water until it was cooked soft.  

* And eat it with a Miso based source  = Miso with small amount of Vinegar and a bit of Sugar, + small amount of Mirin (Japanese Cooking Sake or a bit of wine, White Rum can be used instead )

* For additional flavor — I add few drop of West-Indian Hot-chilly Source, or Wasabi,  Mustard. — When I mixed with Thai Tom-yam-Ku paste = it wasn’t too bad —– any variation you can try and enjoy the taste.  ( If it became too runny with vinegar etc, just add more Miso.   🙂  )

(For Dengaku, you can put many different materials too, such as Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery even Potato. — Japanese use Konnyaku (it’s a funny staff /  Mannan product)  as well. ) —– from here, another popular Japanese cooking called “Oden” is only a step away.  Basically Oden is a cooking of the chopped Daikon and various fish cakes boiled together and pick up of those you like from the pan to your own small dish and eat. (normally with mustard = why mustard is, = since Daikon and Mustard belongs to the same botanical family, their taste mix well, = same as that, Tomato based cooking will mix well with chilli pepper, since they are in the same family) 

—– Now you have seen the key of the Daikon cooking = main seasoning in Furofuki Daikon was in its Dashi, but the Dengaku, it was in the Source.   Still in both cooking, the dominant taste is Daikon itself.


When an Italian guy who seemed to have very good taste bud, first ever eat Daikon and he was very impressed and asked me how to make it.  —– And he was even surprised, why Italian doesn’t have such cooking, despite it is very popular in France. 

( Only a small trouble with eating Daikon is,  it could make you to produce strongest mankind ever know kind of fart, yet still, it was known to be not poisonous = hence, it makes short of health warning.   😀  )

—– Not because of its humble, Minimalistic Zen approach, but simply, it’s so tasty  = So, this is my Festive time eating.  (on top of Temaki-Sushi.   😀  )  

If you haven’t tasted it yet,  I strongly recommend you to try.



PS :  I received an Email from my Chinese friend  Sing Lee, the way how to cook it in Chinese style !

<<< (There was the Photos from him though, they have been disappeared — copyright issues ?  —– I don’t know.  What a shame.)

It’s been a quite long time I haven’t visited WordPress, I got some very beautiful photos of azalea flowers in my hometown in May last year, but haven’t got a chance to post them at my blog yet.
We cook White Radish(Bai Luo Bo- 白萝卜) at three methods:
1) Sliced it in little strips or little bits,  and then stir and cook with pork.
2) Sliced it in large unit, cook and boil with pig’s bone, pettitoes, chicken or duck meat
(boil it about half or one hour).
3) Sliced it in large strips, boil with pig lung (boil it about 1 hour).
Especially during the winter, cook the white radish with pig lung and eat them, it can help people to keep their lungs in a good condition.
>>>  Thank you very much Sing Lee for your great contribution.


10 Responses

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  1. cynthia blake said, on December 30, 2012 at 08:16

    very interesting article, glad that I found your site! =D. thanks for sharing the information, keep posting!

    • yoshizen said, on December 30, 2012 at 22:41

      Thank you Cynthia. I hope you try Daikon 🙂

  2. bentehaarstad said, on December 30, 2012 at 23:39

    Haven’t tasted it, yet. But it looks nice and interesting from this lovely post. Happy new Year, Yoshizen!

    • yoshizen said, on December 31, 2012 at 06:35

      Thank you Bente. In fact, put a Daikon into Miso-soup is much more common.
      And the Chinese also use it for soup, like Spinach or Pakchoi.
      Some Japanese put it into their New Year “O-zouni” (Soup with rice cake) 🙂
      —– So, this is the last day in 2012 = Coming Happy New Year for you.

  3. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on January 2, 2013 at 02:49

    Hmmm. I’ve never tried this (despite having lived several years in France). But I did enjoy your post (you’re so funny).

    • yoshizen said, on January 2, 2013 at 04:26

      So, you saw “a leg in black stocking” ?
      I guess, may be its sexy looks put you off 😀

  4. […] cooking samples has been photographed using this flash system. […]

  5. Boiled Cucumber ! | Yoshizen's Blog said, on June 10, 2014 at 00:22

    […] kind of cooking isn’t  far from boiled Daikon = I would say “Not too […]

  6. […] most of the root vegetables, this Daikon (Japanese white Radish / Mouli) started to shoot before I eat. (I bought 4 Daikons  for £1 ! = Even if I eat it every […]

  7. […] paste I made here was also good for other cooking such as Oka-kurage, boiled Daikon etc. —– may be I should make a lot and keep it in a jar for a quick serve to each […]

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