This is an item I’ve wanted to try since seeing it on the show Chopped.
It’s as white as purity in the flesh, but in the grocery store it’s obscene-like, laid out on the produce shelf. It’s long and narrow, nearly the size of a rolling pin.
After many, many months of passing it by, I found it, more manageable in size, in my favorite booth at the farmers’ market.
Behold the daikon!
It can get up to 15 inches long!
The flavor is mildly sweet, and earthy. It kind of reminded me of a mushroom. It’s very crunchy, like a typical radish
Peel it before eating.
The most common way to use it is to make a pickle, so that’s what I did.
Put the sticks in a jar, then add:
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. simple syrup
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 big pinches of salt
2 garlic cloves broken open
2 nickel-thick slices of fresh ginger
Put the top on the jar, shake, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Mine sat for about ten hours.
I went the traditional route and used them for a banh-mi.
Banh-mi is really a Vietnamese term for bread, but it’s used to describe a sandwich made with fatty meat (like pâté or pork belly), cilantro, pickled vegetables, and mayo all enveloped in good, baguette-like bread.
Because I used the crispy shrimp, the sandwich reminded me a bit of a Po’ boy.
So I give you the Po’ Mi:
2 good rolls. Use French bread, or even Cuban sandwich-style bread
12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup of Panko
1 Tbsp. flour
2 egg whites
1/2 inch of canola oil in a frying pan
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 carrot peeled into ribbons
Daikon pickles, drained
7-8 Basil leaves, sliced
Handful of spinach leaves
Spicy mayo (2 Tbsp. mayo + 1 Tbsp Sriracha)
Soy glaze (2 Tbsp. honey + 1 Tbsp. soy sauce)
Combine the Panko, flour, garlic powder, ginger, and a big pinch of salt on a plate. Dip the shrimp in the egg whites, then dip into the Panko mixture.
Slice open the rolls and warm in a 400 degree oven for not more than 5 minutes.
Slather both sides of the roll with the spicy mayo. Line the bottom of the roll with the spinach, the basil slices, carrot ribbons, and good helping of daikon pickles, and 6 shrimp. Drizzle with the soy glaze. Dot the shrimp with Sriracha.
Rather than pickling carrots (traditional), I used the raw ribbons. They’re colorful, and sweet, and let the daikon pickle shine.
I LOVED this sandwich.
The bread was crispy. The shrimp was crunchy, and delicately sweet. The daikon was vinegary, and matched the kick from the spicy mayo. The soy glaze balanced the sweetness.
If you don’t like shrimp, use pork tenderloin or ham.
Discover the daikon, especially into can find it at the farmers’ market.
It would be great in a salad, and it’s the perfect pickle. I promise.
Tip: You can also roast the daikon. Peel it, then cube it. Rub in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast at 425 for about 25 minutes. Flip it often so it doesn’t burn. The radish will caramelize, and be much sweeter. It falls into the roasted rutabaga category for me, and that’s excellent!