the taste space

Braised Daikon

Posted in Sides by Janet M on November 16, 2011

If you compare meat and vegetables, which are more expensive? Meat, right?

I hear people complaining how costly fresh vegetables are, but really it isn’t that bad. The problem is that they are perishable and don’t necessarily keep that long.  I suppose the same is true with meat, but it can easily be frozen without adverse effects.

Now tell me what the cheapest vegetable is….

Courtesy of Sunny-rrific sales:

Carrots: $1 for 4 lb is pretty good. 25c/lb.

I’ve bought a head of cabbage for 50c. That’s like 20c/lb.

Kohlrabi is cheap, too. I’ve bought it on sale for 19c/lb at Sunny’s. Probably because no one has a clue what to do with it.

When I see butternut squash on sale for 19c/lb, I stock up!

But no, I’ve seen fresh veggies even cheaper than 19c/lb.

Daikon! For 9c/lb!

Daikon is also known as a white radish and is relatively mild but still has a peppery punch.  While I have cooked with daikon in my Japanese Winter Stew, I don’t have that many daikon recipes. I couldn’t help myself, though, and grabbed a handful of daikon for the road. As a root vegetable, they keep extremely well in the refrigerator.

A quick search led me to Miss Figgy’s daikon braised in mirin and tamari, which she adapted from The Kind Diet (original recipe posted here). The long braise was supposed to turn the normally pungent white radish into sea scallops. Not that I really know what sea scallops taste like, but I can imagine the texture.

Let me tell you, I would not have even guessed this was daikon. After the long braise in mirin, tamari and kombu, you create a subtly sweet and salty treat. There was no trace of spicy radish here. The radish was just a vehicle for the sauce. These are great warm, fresh from their long braise, but also chilled as leftovers.

Now please tell me how you prepare daikon. I think I have one left. :)

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Christina from La Cucina di Cristina.

Braised Daikon

2 daikon roots, peeled and chopped into 3/4″ thick rounds (~1 lb)
1/4 cup mirin
2 tbsp tamari
2-3″ strip kombu (optional but it imparts the sea-like flavour)

1. Place daikon slices in the bottom of a pan in a single layer. Add just enough water to almost cover the tops of the daikon. Add the tamari and mirin and kombu.

2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Personally, I couldn’t get the liquid absorbed so I uncovered it and simmered for another 30 minutes until the liquid was gone.

Serves 4.

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16 Responses

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  1. Priya said, on November 16, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    Braised diakon looks fabulous..

  2. miss figgy said, on November 16, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    love this recipe! so simple but so delicious.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on November 16, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      Thanks for sharing it and helping me figure out how to eat it… Friday’s post will show what else I ate it with, hehehe. :)
      How are you enjoying NYC?

  3. Joanne said, on November 16, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    I think the real problem is that people think of meat as non-negotiable, so they’re okay paying more for it but veggies, they can do without. It’s ridiculous and makes me SO angry.

    I would NEVER have guessed this was daikon. With all those Asian flavors, I know I’d adore it!

  4. Megan said, on November 16, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Yum! I make something similar to this, but mine is much lighter in colour. Must be the soy I’m using!

    I love making a quick-pickled daikon & carrot mix for use on Banh Mi (and other sandwiches)… so good. Crunchy and delicious.

  5. Ashley said, on November 17, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Wow the produce I buy here is not that cheap!! I usually go to this vegetable market and it’s cheaper than Save On Foods but still way more expensive than what you pay! For example I just bought a kohlrabi (I love kohlrabi it’s my new favourite yummm) and I think it was 0.99/lb at the vegetable market and it was 2.99/lb at Save On Foods. Ridiculous!! And canned beans can actually be expensive (though now I cook my own beans). I remember when I used to live with my mom and she went grocery shopping once and I had asked her to get 2 cans of beans (maybe cannelini beans?) and she didn’t buy them because she thought they were too expensive. They might have been $4 or $5/can. Okay I’m feeling very verbose.. sorry haha. Anyway this daikon dish sounds amazing, I’ll have to try it. I don’t usually prepare daikon at home, but I love it. I’ve never found it peppery though.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on November 18, 2011 at 7:47 AM

      I remember when I travelled out West, I thought the grocery prices were ridiculous.. but $4/can is insane! I recently travelled to NYC and the produce there was insane in the normal grcoery stores. They have these veggie stands, though, that are fairly reasonably priced that I think are really neat. I know I have it good… if I bought the produce from the normal grocery stores, there’s no way I would get this variety at the same prices. If Rob and I move, Sunny’s still needs to be within a reasonable proximity. ;)

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  7. Ganga108 said, on November 19, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    I LOVE the sound of that dish, and love daikon a lot. I have a couple of much loved daikon dishes, a wonderful salad http://vegeyum.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/daikonsalad/ and a pumpkin and daikon curry http://vegeyum.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/sliced-daikon/ . I hope you get a chance to try them!

    Love your blog too.

  8. gena said, on November 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    I have a huge fear of daikon. But then, I tried to eat it raw. If I can experiment with irish moss, I can be brave enough to work with this delicious recipe!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on November 20, 2011 at 12:25 AM

      Gena, this doesn’t taste anything like daikon. The long braise takes away all that spicy radish taste. I look forward to seeing what you create. :)

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