Yoshizen's Blog

Daikon Flowers — ?

Like 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 day, it would take at least 4 days.)  Like Ginger, Onion, Garrick etc if they shoot too big (more than 2″) before I noticed, I dare to cut it off, instead I plant it to a pot and let it  grow, for me to play good hypocrite.  Ready butchered meat, chicken or fish kind by somebody else is easy to eat (somebody else got blood on the hand = not me), still I can kill and boiled alive the vegetables, bean etc without any hesitation and eat them.  Though, when I see their vigorous activity on front of my eyes, I get a bit shy.  So, I put it to a pot.  Generally, they start rooting and grow up. 

But this Daikon took different direction.  Without showing any interest to start even single root, she just started to shoot up. —– I realized that she is growing flowering stem.  Was that because I left enough Daikon flesh as an energy reserves, so that she doesn’t need to seek any more nutrition from the roots but went to grow flowering stem straight.  Or was it the season to go flowering anyway ?

So the serious question arose, “Has she made a choice = instead to grow roots but go to flowering ?”  And was that because she noticed that she got enough reserve to do ?  Or hard-wired program / internal clock directed her to grow flowering stem as a season’s imperative.  But how she did know the season ?  Did she assess the amount of sunshine, or the length of daytime ?  —– What so ever the decision made === Where was it processed ?  Has she got any CPU or a kind of brain ? —– OR was it just a hard-wired (Genetically programmed = When time comes, one gene activated, and started the Flowering Process like a chain reaction.)  —– You may say it IS just a cut off tip of a garbage === still having so much so high level decision-making of which the mechanism IS beyond our comprehension. 

= I wrote those above almost two weeks ago, thinking when I saw her flowers, I would put its photo into my post. —–  Though, it turned out to be not so. = It seems, subdued light in the kitchen window wasn’t good enough.  But in the same time, the dry air seems killed off the flower buds. === Nature or Daikon’s condition didn’t go as what I expected. = They got their own rules and rationals.  And the environment was not meet the plan of the Daikon itself.  ( I did give a mist of water splay time to time though, apparently it didn’t help.)  What we believe we know something and thinking / expecting something might be just a fraud. 

A09A7336Days passed.  This is what they are now.   It is the end stage of the cut off top of a Daikon which was hoped to have the flowers.  I’m not sure the point, any good of what I did. —– was that just a useless interference, mess-up to the Daikon’s fate ?   Or my greedy expectation to see the flowers ?    Whether it was the more natural scenario for the Daikon tip to rotten and die in the rubbish bin or was it kind to give a yet another opportunity ? —– while considering the main body of the Daikon was died in horrifying agony while boiled alive. 

Life and death is a complicated issue.   Still, it is questionable if I were entitle to mess-up with other’s life in the first place.  (Let alone, killing and eating them while pretending to be friendly with them.)



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Boiled Cucumber !

Boiled Cucamber-A09A1170

These days, the stall on the open market was filled with good flesh fruits.

So, my mouth was occupied by the Cherry, Strawberry, etc etc —– then

I realized that a cucumber has been in my fridge uneaten.  It was intended

for salad kind with tomato though, as the position of flesh food has been

taken over by those seasonal fruits, it has been forgotten and got old

more than a week and the skin was getting yellowish.   It is no longer suite

for flesh eating though it is a crime to throw the food away. 

So, I decided to cook it boiled !  

I don’t think I ever seen a cucumber was cooked boiled or fried still,

a sister of cucumber = bitter melon (bitter gourd) has been cooked in many 

different way and could even be in a Miso soup  —– why not cucumber.  


I just peel the skin and cut to one-mouth size and boiled in a half depth of

water with added Dashi (mostly fish powder),  some  Soy-source and

few drip of West Indian hot chilly source, for about half an hour slow cook.  

This kind of cooking isn’t  far from boiled Daikon = I would say “Not too bad”.

—– Adding to this story, once before when I got hugely disappointing 

Honeydew melon (that yellow thing) which was not ripe nor sweet at all, 

instead to throw it to a bin, I peeled the hard skin and cut to 2″ size and

boiled it in the same way as above.  

Eating those as a snack or with boiled rice as a side-dish, the taste is

unmistakably Japanese, especially served with shaved Katsuo-bushi

(dried Bonito fish) like the photo above —– I would say, yummy.  🙂

We have rather hard programmed eating habit though, it could be easily

broken and try different way.  Why not !

(And it might save the planet in long run —– not mention the pocket.)  🙂


PS : In a Blog like this, if I said something like “Know thanks (Kansha) to

the Dharma who provided us to keep living”,   “Be humble” or

“Feel compassion to the Cucumber who died for us to survive” it will

NOT be a Buddhist’s Blog.  It’s a sham =  nothing but a Marketing ploy,

same to a spin doctor who is telling the sweet words to sell dubious medicine.

When “So-called Buddhist” got a notion such as Buddhism, Charity, Compassion

etc etc, it is a brake down of Mushin, Ichijo, existence to be the Void.

(if it WAS there at all before)

Zen Buddhism is not for talking about but just DO and just BE.

= Just cook and eat.



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.


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