Daikon radishes can indeed be stinky and therefore intimidating to use as a noodle substitute, I totally get that. However, I wanted to take the intimidation out of the equation as there is a solution to the funk. I can guarantee that once you learn this trick you will be buying daikons more frequently from your local market. Some of you may even be wondering what the heck a daikon is? Have no fear, I will tell you more about your new favorite veg, I promise! But first a little story to set the mood!
If you will imagine for a moment a gorgeous Spring day in Southern California, where the sun is shining oh so bright, the blossoms have popped out of every tree in sight and the verdant landscape gleams through my elevated window view. I go into my kitchen to prepare my usual salad which mainly consists of a bed of varied greens. Although the greens were prime, fresh and colorful they weren’t exactly screaming out ideas as to what to adorn them with today. So I piddled through my produce drawers only to discover the daikon that I had intended on using this week and thought why not use it as a salad base instead of my usual greens? This led me to pull out my spiralizer and veggie peeler. I also stumbled upon vibrant carrots and fragrant cilantro as well as a lime that was tucked beneath all of the cuties in my citrus bowl.
A dish started coming together in my minds eye and before I knew it, I was on my way to enjoying a brand new salad that immediately transported me into the land of creativity, color, fun and experimentation. To escape to this magical place was a beautiful way to spend my lunch hour not only was my creative heart nourished but so was my belly and hopefully yours will be too!
For those of you having trouble picturing what a daikon is, allow me to introduce you to one. Basically it’s a radish, a long white root vegetable which was said to have originated in the Mediterranean and later brought to China. It is the most commonly produced vegetable in Japan and lucky for me it’s also grown here in California as well as Texas. Daikons contain active enzymes that aid with digestion as well as a lot of vitamin C. Basically there an excellent veggie to add to your recipe repertoire.
As for the funk that I mentioned before, my secret for preparing and using one of these nutritious beauties is to soak them in a warm salt bath for about 15 minutes to remove the bitterness and sharp odor from the daikon. Bonus is that this also helps soften the noodle making it the perfect texture for a sauce or dressing to absorb into the noodles. I recommend cutting, peeling or spiraling the daikon before the bath. So there you have it, your new favorite veg and a simple and satisfying Spring recipe guaranteed to inspire creativity in your kitchen, pleasure on your senses, and nourishment in your body!
- 1 daikon
- 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp dried mulberries (http://www.essentiallivingfoods.com)
- 2 tbsp coconut vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar
- 1/4 wedge of lime juice
- 1 tsp red chili pepper
- 1 tsp grated ginger (frozen)
- 1/4 wedge of lime for garnish
- Peel and soak daikon in a warm salt water bath for 15 minutes (this removes the bitter notes and softens the noodles).
- Chop remaining veggies
- In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Plate the daikon noodles and then the veggies and mulberries.
- Garnish with cilantro and lime
- Pour dressing on top and serve!
- Pro tip: Place a chunk of ginger in the freezer to make for easy grating.