Kimchi is traditionally made with Napa cabbage, and is a great way to use daikon radishes. If you only have “regular” cabbage – just substitute it for the Napa in the recipe.
The Korean chili powder is pretty essential. You can find it at the Buford Highway Farmers Market, but also at grocers that specialize in Korean foods.
The recipe comes from “Tart and Sweet” by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler. Add some sliced mustard greens if you like, that’s also a traditional addition.
This soup recipe comes from Florence Fabricant and will use up quite a bit of radish. Serve it hot, or chill it and serve it cold.
In place of the green chili it calls for, you can also a Scotch bonnet pepper, but DON’T CUT IT UP. Just simmer the whole pepper in the soup when you add the shrimp, and then remove it before serving. You just want a bit of the heat, not the whole scorching thing.
This is a vegetarian version of a dish that’s traditionally made with beef. Another good use for daikons. Adapt it for the vegetables you have on hand. The recipe looks daunting, but it’s really just taking each vegetable and cooking it with seasonings until just done, then setting that one aside, and doing the next. This way you get perfectly cooked vegetables. It’s a dramatic presentation and fun to eat. The recipe calls for short-grain rice because that’s the kind that will stick together as its cooks.
In my CSA box was a little bundle of three medium size daikon radishes with greens. I think raw daikon radishes are an acquired taste. I love “regular” radishes, but the daikon has a bitterness to the heat that makes it not something I enjoy eating raw in a salad.
So to use my three pretty daikons today, I’ll be making these vegetables. Even if you don’t want to do the whole recipe, try the pickled vegetables part. It’s a fairly traditional take on Vietnamese pickled vegetables which are served on banh mi sandwiches and a great way to temper those daikons. You could do it with all daikon, but the carrots add color and the cucumber makes a nice change of texture. Try chicken, tofu or other shrimp instead of the salmon if you like.
This recipe is adapted from one in “A Change of Appetite” by Diana Henry.
Let’s talk about what we can do with those daikon radishes. You can grate them and add a little rice vinegar and sugar and make a quick pickle that will brighten up any sandwich. Or you can slice them and put them into a salad. You can add a little to your next juicing project. Or you can make fries. I had never thought of this, but the recipe comes from The Little Farm in Gray, Georgia.
And finally, my plan for the daikon is to adapt this recipe. I was introduced to Lee’s Bakery on Buford Highway which the New York Times once declared had Atlanta’s best banh mi sandwiches. I don’t know about that, but I do know they sell their crusty rolls for 30 cents each. I bought a bag full. I’ve been growing lemongrass in a container and so will finally harvest my first stalk.
Ok, what are you doing with all those daikon radishes? These days I’m slicing them onto sandwiches and stirring them into soup. I’m planning to experiment tomorrow with dicing the daikon and combining it with diced avocado, then making a dressing featuring sesame oil and trying that as a bruschetta-type topping. How about you?
Here’s another idea for your radishes – using them in potato salad. This recipe is from Scott Serpas of Serpas Fine Food. He made it for a demo at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market. Great now, great next spring.
And finally, our boxes had radishes, radishes, radishes, so here’s a radish soup recipe. Make pesto from the radish greens – using any pesto recipe you like – and dollop that on top of the soup. Perfect way to enjoy both the French breakfast and daikon radishes we found in our box.
I have to admit that finding new uses for the daikon radish had been stumping me. It’s so often turned into a quick pickle or used in kimchi, and that’s where I was stuck.
Then I ran into this recipe for Luo Bo Gao, a Chinese daikon cake, a mainstay at dim sum restaurants with its crisp exterior and soft interior. I can’t wait to try this, especially since I have a little bag of dried shrimp in the freezer. I was wondering what in the world I was going to do with it.