This is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads or cut into strips or chips for relish trays. It also can be stir-fried, grilled, baked, boiled or broiled. Use the daikon as you would a radish. It may be served raw in salads or grated for use as a condiment (if you don't have a Japanese-style grater, use a cheese grater and grate just before serving), pickled, or simmered in a soup. They are also preserved by salting as in making sauerkraut. Daikon also is used in soups and simmered dishes. To prepare, peel skin as you would a carrot and cut for whatever style your recipe idea calls for. Not only is the root eaten, but the leaves also are rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, and iron, so they are worth using instead of discarding.
A Japanese secret to cooking daikon is to use water in which rice has been washed or a bit of rice bran added (this keeps the daikon white and eliminates bitterness and sharpness}.
For Chips, Relish Tray Sticks or Stir Fries - Simply peel Daikon with a peeler and cut crossways for thin chips. Dip thin chips in ice water and they will crisp and curl for a Daikon chip platter with your favorite sour cream or yogurt dip. Cut into julienne strips for relish trays, salads or stir-frys.
Nutrition Information - Daikon is very low in calories. A 3-ounce serving contains only 18 calories and provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Rich in vitamin C, daikon contains active enzymes that aid digestion, particularly of starchy foods. Select those that feel heavy and have lustrous skin and fresh leaves.
Pork Bone and Daikon Radish Soup
1 lb pork bones or pork ribs
1 lb Daikon radish
green onions and/or cilantro
sliced fresh ginger (about 2 inches of a regular size ginger)
Boil pork bones for approximately 5 minutes. Remove and discard water. This gets rid of the scum that floats to the top.
Add ginger and pork bones to 4 cups (or enough to cover all the ingredients) of fresh boiling water for 10 minutes then reduce to a low boil and cook for at least 90 minutes.
Chop Daikon radish. Slice the radish into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick circles and then chop them into quarters.
Add Daikon to soup and let cook for 20 minutes.
Add chopped green onions or cilantro, salt to taste.