Daikon radish is a wacky and wonderful root vegetable. Learn about the health benefits and find six new daikon radish recipes to add to your kitchen!
We have recently joined a local CSA, and one of the veggies that keeps popping up each week is the oddly beautiful daikon radish. Daikon is a radish variety from the brassica family (kale, collards, broccoli, etc) and shares the health benefits of these great plants. It also has a characteristic spicy flavor, perfect for warming up your meals this time of year.
Health benefits of daikon include cancer-fighting antioxidants, folic acid and anthocyanins; radish is also known to help respiratory function and general detoxification of the organs as it contains high amounts of sulphur based compounds (and yes, these healthy sulfur compounds smell a little farty). Daikon is also a super hydrating vegetable, and acts as a diuretic, so it helps flush our systems clean. It’s also high in vitamin C and vitamin B, along with potassium, calcium, iron, copper, phosphorous and fiber. The leaves of radishes are delicious and healthy too, although they are best eaten when young; by the time daikon is harvested at its typical 2-3 foot length, the leaves are often a bit mangled. If they are in good shape, you can stir-fry, braise or add to soups for a delicious boost.
6 Daikon Radish Recipes
1. Carrot and Daikon Salad: an easy raw side that mellows the radish considerably
2. Pickled Daikon: crunchy and delightful; when I made mine I skipped the sugar and it was still awesome!
3. Daikon Kimchi: add daikon to this homemade kimchi shredded or cubed, or substitute the cabbage for an-all daikon!
4. Roasted Root Veggie Medley: a perfect autumn dish
5. Bahn Mi Bowl: a deconstructed take on the classic Vietnamese sandwich
6. It can also be juiced and blended into smoothies, but… maybe you need to work up to that.
I recently read this great post on Grist that includes eleven more daikon recipes, if you are feeling ambitious! And if you need more reasons to love this vegetable, it also is a great plant to grow to protect our soils and waters.