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Daikon -- Daikon Radish



A pile of daikon in the supermarket

Daikon (Japanese: Y'h9; literally "large root"), Daikon radish or Chinese radish (Chinese: v}„S\; pinyin: báilóbo; literally "white radish") is a mild-flavored East Asian giant white radish. Although there are many varieties of daikon, the most common has the shape of a giant carrot, approximately 8 to 14 inches (200 to 350 mm) long and 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm) in diameter. One of the most unlikely shaped daikon is Sakurajima daikon from Kagoshima Prefecture that is shaped like an oversized turnip with white outside and bright pink inside.

Daikon is an essential part of Japanese cuisine being used as a garnish for many dishes like sushi or as a simmered vegetable served in its own right. Daikon is also commonly grated and served either as a garnish or as an accent in soups such as miso soup. It also accompanies tempura, for mixing into the sauce; with soy sauce, it is served with Japanese-style hamburgers. The shredded and dried daikon is called kiriboshi daikon (R^rY'h9), literally cut-and-dried daikon. Pickled whole daikon is called takuan (l¢^µ), and often has a bright yellow color. It is claimed, but not historically supported, that a Buddhist monk called Takuan first made this pickled daikon to preserve vegetables for the long winter. Pickled sliced daikon called senmaizuke (SCgšo,0Q) is a famous product of Kyoto.

Fresh leaves of daikon can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable but they are often removed when sold in a store because they do not adjust well to the refrigerator, yellowing quite easily.


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