the taste space

Braised Daikon

Posted in Sides by janet @ the taste space 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.

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Japanese Winter Stew

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by janet @ the taste space on March 29, 2011

Last week was a bit of a tease. Just two weeks earlierI was lamenting how it would be months before I could take my bike out.  I was shocked when the weather turned around completely, with a few gorgeous spring days with highs around 15C. I quickly brought my bike into the shop to get its annual tune up, and was commuting to work earlier this week. Only to have snow come again the following day. It was such a slap in the face to have spring yanked out from under my bicycle tires!

No use sulking, as there are still lots of great things winter provides, like hearty soups and stews. There are many dishes to warm up the soul when outside is so cold.

Like this Japanese Stew. While I am usually leery of making Japanese recipes from a non-Japanese cookbook, I still ventured to make a Japanese Winter Stew I found in Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health. I swapped the veggies around, though, for a more authentic feel (power to random purchases from Chinatown!), but really, you could throw in any seasonal vegetable. I kept the sweet potato and tofu, but I substituted daikon for the turnip, added in 100g of chopped enoki mushrooms and used 4 oz baby spinach instead of mustard greens. I then topped each serving with chopped green onions and drizzled with a touch of toasted sesame oil. This is a powerhouse of a winter stew, overflowing with vegetables, yet with the comforting miso taste but zippy from the chili flakes and ginger. It balances out so nicely, which is what Japanese cuisine is all about.


This is my submission to this month’s Veggie/Fruit a Month, featuring radishes (including daikon), and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

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