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Daikon radish – an Asian vegetable to know

April 19, 2012

I know you won’t see daikon radishes in local markets just yet, though you can buy this power house year-round in grocery stores. I bought some from Hmong farmers Nancy & Robert Lee last year. The Lees enjoy it pickled with carrots.

If you’re new to Asian food, it may not be the first thing you try, but its health benefits and added lift it gives to salads are worth a trip to the farmers’ market.  Eaten fresh, it is crunchy and mildly spicy; translated from Japanese, daikon means “great root” – describing its large size, and I would add its nutritional and medicinal qualities. Unlike our well-known red radishes, daikon is commonly white and can be 6 inches to three feet long – though U.S.-grown daikon are typically 1 foot long and 2-3 inches in

Daikon radish

 diameter. Daikon radish is prominent in the Japanese diet and aids in digestion (helps digest carbohydrates, proteins and fats), is high in Vit C and B complex (a “good for your skin vegetable”) and eaten raw, may help reduce the risk of cancer. The leaves are rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and iron. Daikon is also consumed pickled, dried, or cooked.

Raw daikon (peeled) can be thinly sliced into salads, shredded or grated into slaws, or julienned and combined with carrots as a traditional Vietnamese pickle. It can also be stir-fried, grilled, baked, boiled or broiled. Store fresh daikon in the refrigerator placed in a sealed container to maintain high humidity – though the fresher you eat it, the better!

Check out this very simple daikon-carrot salad recipe from

One Comment leave one →
  1. Loraine Avolio permalink
    July 9, 2012 9:01 am

    Asian foods are great and they are always full of spices, i love to eat asian foods mainly because of its unique taste. `”.*, –Yours truly

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