Daikon Radish Salad is a little salad loaded with strong flavors and character!
This daikon salad recipe is for you if you are looking to add more raw vegetables in form of a salad to your daily meal planning.
Also, the Daikon Radish Recipe is surprisingly versatile and makes a great must have during the colder winter months!
I came across this radish for the first time in India.
The Daikon radish is commonly sold in India under the name of Mooli, when it makes an appearance in local markets from December to March, every year again. Indian cuisine uses the Daikon Radish Recipes cooked in sabzis/bhajis.
When I saw Daikon for the first time I thought it was a root which I have known all my childhood in Austria. We call it Rettich in German and in Bavaria, across our border, its better known as Radi. Rettich is a white elongated radish which looks like the daikon radish.
Asian Daikon vs European white Radish variety
The difference between the Asian daikon and the Austrian/Bavarian Rettich is mostly in the taste between the Austrian/Bavarian Rettich and the Asian Daikon. The Asian variation tends to be milder in the taste compared to the Rettich. Also, the growing period is different because the Rettich grows during the summer months in Europe and is, therefore, better known as a summer white radish.
In central Europe, we use the Rettich to make a salad which is served and enjoyed in small quantities with other main course dishes. You can serve the salad with Sauerkraut Sausage and Knödel, with a conventional Veal Schnitzel and Lingonberry jam or a Hunter’s Schnitzel (Jägerschnitzel) with chanterelle mushrooms.
Therefore, my Daikon radish salad is inspired and prepared as per an Austrian radish salad.
What is Daikon?
Daikon is a white winter radish variety, mild in flavor but with a tangy spice which goes into the direction of mustard. The daikon vegetable can grow into giant roots with a firm but juicy flesh. Daiko radish originated in Asia.
The name Daikon apparently comes from the Japanese according to Wikipedia and means translated “big root”.
The white Asian radish makes a common appearance in the Chinese, Japanese, Philipin, Korean, Vietnamese Thai, Nepalese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian cuisine.
So, sometimes Daikon is referred too as Chinese or Japanese radish besides the Indian name, Mooli, or the common other names in various languages such as white Asian radish or winter radish.
How to prepare the white radish root for any Daikon Radish Recipe?
You can prepare the daikon easily by just peeling a clean radish and cutting the root small.
Also, you get to choose how to process the roots. You can fry, boil, steam and bake the white giant radish.
Daikon radish is used in raw and uncooked versions in various cuisines and dishes. Here some ideas for white daikon radish recipes:
So, as you can see the Daikon radish is very versatile, but my favorite way to enjoy it is as Daikon Radish Salad.
Are there different Daikon variations?
Eventually, you just need to look out for the different Daikon radish variations. I have only seen the white daikon radish types (although I heard something about a purple daikon variety), yet some daikon roots contain more water than others.
The Indian Daikon, Mooli variations tend to be juicier compared to the Chinese and Japanese daikon radish. So, before cooking it you might want to keep the shredded radish with some salt. The salt will take out the excess water while the salt is marinating the raw daikon.
Eventually, you can follow the salt technique to take out excess water from the daikon for the daikon radish recipe too. I leave that step up to you as I have not done this in today’s white radish recipe, as I prefer a juicier daikon radish salad.
Surprisingly, you can cook the young green daikon leaves as well. Which they commonly do in the Indian subcontinent. They add the radish greens into stuffed flatbreads such as Paranthas.
Growing Daikon Radish
A few years ago I tried to grow white Daikon Radish seeds on a simple plot in the tropical coastline belt of Goa. Because I love perparing daikon dishes, especialy this Daikon Radish Salad! Unfortunately, I bitterly failed!
The roots grew yet the problem in the tropics are huge garden rats which are bigger then cats at times (!) and their main meal of the day are any kind of roots. So they ate my white radish. After that, I gave up.
However, I learned that the white Daikon radish needs to be planted, in Asia, in September/October. The Goan environment tends to be humid wet at that time. The closer to the equator the more care this radish variety will need. That means the soil needs to be drained well.
I think daikon radish will grow better in cooler regions in Asia such as North India, Pakitan, China. This might be the case too in the Himalayas. I suspect daikons can grow up to a certain height in Nepal.
Related Topic -> Read and watch here about a village at 3700 m altitude in the Himalayas, who grows green peas and barley in a barren region.
If you want to plant daikon radish, the seeds take a few days to sprout and turn into roots which can be harvested, 50-90 days later. Daikon should not be left too long in the mud or they turn slightly bitter in taste and might get woody. So, usually try to not exceed 90 days.
I am not sure if Daikon would grow in the northern hemisphere in Europe or the American continent. Or even in Africa or Australia! Feel free to share your experience in growing daikon in a comment further below!
Daikon nutrition and health benefits
Turns out daikon radish contains fewer calories which makes it a great weight loss help. The roots tend to be stuffed with various minerals and vitamins at the same time.
Also, Daikon is poor in fats but contains some essential proteins. As you know, proteins are always great for our health if we can find them in vegetables and not just in meats.
To retain the nutrients and to take the most of it for your health, consider enjoying daikon raw or in a steamed version. Best example for raw is this Daikon Radish Salad Recipe.
I personally love the tangy flavor of these Asian white roots. Therefore, I chose to turn the Daikon into a simple salad which tastes just like the Austrian Rettich Salad.
Daikon Radish Salad Recipe
- 14 ounces Daikon radish
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Tablespoon Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Use firm Daikon Radish, grab one root and break off the greens. (the greens can be used if they are young and fresh for another dish such as in a stir-fry).
- Wash the root well so that impurities are all gone and peel.
- Then with a food processor, shred into small pieces and place into a salad bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the Daikon and mix. If you want to get rid of some water in the roots, then let the daikon sit with the salt for 15 minutes and then discard the water that has come out. I skip that step because I like my salad juicy.
- Then add the simple marination to the salad which is the vinegar, oil and black pepper. Mix the whole content well.
- Serve cooled in small portions with other main course dishes. See post and recipe card summary for serving suggestions.
2. Use only fresh and firm daikon roots for the best results!
3. Make this "bigger" batch and store in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container.
4. The daikon salad kind of starts to ferment when in contact with vinegar, salt, and oil. This is ok and gives the salad more flavor but make sure to store in an airtight container because the odor can be like a strong Camembert cheese in the fridge.
5. If you feel the salad is too spicy strong, then just add 1-2 Tablespoon cream or sour cream to balance the flavors. That way the salad will turn out milder.
Dear Reader, where did you learn about the Daikon radish for the first time?
Is it a part of your food culture?
Please share with us your thought and questions about Daikon Radish Salad further below. We are looking forward to what you have to say. 🙂