Monday, 11 July 2011

Daikon salad

As many of you will know, I have been experimenting with growing Daikon. My first attempt in this field has produced some very satisfying results.

Daikon, aka Mooli "Tokyo Cross"

Being unfamiliar with this vegetable, we have been experimenting with ways of cooking and eating it. First time round we ate some plain slices of it as a "Western-style" salad ingredient, much as you would use the traditional round red radishes, and we found this OK but rather unexciting (you wouldn't want very much of it).

Next time round it was used  in an Oriental-style salad, along with carrot, cucumber, spring onion, beansprouts and chilli, with a soy sauce and lime-juice dressing. This was served with our Cambodian pork curry (a recipe from Rick Stein's Oriental Odyssey). That was nice.

Then we used some as an ingredient in a stir-fry, which was even nicer, because the Daikon picked up some of the other flavours whilst retaining its crunchy texture. I now offer you my latest creation, a more upmarket Daikon salad:

This is how I prepared it: I peeled and julienned the Daikon (in other words cut it into small slivers). I then put it in a deep bowl, added a tablespoonful of Shaosing rice wine, a few drops of sesame oil, a sliced and de-seeded red chilli, a pinch of salt and a few leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped. I then left it to stand for an hour or so for the flavours to infuse, before serving it in a rather more attractive bowl.

We ate this salad as an accompaniment to a Beef Rendang, with which it went well. My intention had been to produce something vaguely oriental without being specifically attributable to any national cuisine, and I think I succeeded in this. The rice wine softened the Daikon a little and the sesame gave it a nutty sort of flavour, while the chilli added a bit of a kick. I deliberately left the chilli in large pieces so that I could pick them out, because I do not particularly enjoy eating large quantities of chilli although I like its flavour and heat. The chopped mint added a bit of freshness, though in truth if it had not been for my allergy to such stuff the salad would have been better with some Coriander.

Coriander (Cilantro)

P.S. Who knows what this bug is (Sue?) -- it's about the size of a small Ladybird.


  1. Can't find it in my beetle book Mark, perhaps it's a foreign invader, beautifully marked though.

  2. Very impressed with your daikon, and some inventive recipes.
    Think that may be a green stink bug... best not touched if so ;-)

  3. I'm very happy that you've tried to use daikon radishes in your dishes.
    It's a good point to use say sauce for dressing because say sauce goes well with daikon.

  4. I think it's a young green shield bug check here

  5. Hi Mark.
    Your bug must be a "Green stink bug" The baby of a Nezara viridula. Not good for your garden, especially for your tomatoes.

  6. Mark, I didn't realise that Daikon is what we call "Mooli" here in India, until I saw this post. Your earlier post on Daikon had me thinking it was something else. You see, though it's a very common vegetable here, I'd never seen the kind of "Boy Daikon" that you had harvested! The common way we have Mooli here is to grate it and add it to curd/yoghurt with a little salt. This is called "raita" and helps to balance an otherwise spicy hot Indian meal. Another traditional favourite, (a little difficult for the first timer) is "Mooli Paratha" (a kind of flat bread stuffed with grated daikon). Thanks to your experiments, I am going to have Daikon/Mooli differently next time.

  7. Looks very good,though I'd have to opt for the cilantro as mint is one of the few flavors I cannot abide.

  8. You have to try daikon cake next Mark and stir-fried the cake with chili:). An experience to remember once you taste it...teeheehee...

  9. I'd never heard of Daikon before you first mentioned it.

    We definately want to grow it next year, this post is really inspirational.

    Thanks for enlightening us.

    Martin :0)

  10. I have a packet of Diakon seed sat on the shelf waiting to go in the ground when I've weeded some space this week. I'd heard it's best grown later in the season but yours obviously worked amazingly well planted early. Fingers crossed ours do as well once we have them in the ground, I'll be keeping these ideas for when we're harvesting ours tho! :)


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