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RADISH DAIKON

€1.38
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The Fascinating World of Daikon Radish in Cooking

The daikon radish is a fascinating ingredient in cooking, especially in Asian cuisine. Its elongated shape and its white and crunchy pulp define it as a versatile component in various culinary preparations. When it comes to using daikon radish in raw dishes, it's perfect for grating and adding to salads or as a garnish on sushi dishes. Its crunchy texture and fresh, slightly spicy flavor add a touch of freshness to the preparations.

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The Fascinating World of Daikon Radish: Origin, Varieties, and Benefits

The Dutch daikon radish, also known as white radish, Japanese radish, or Oriental radish, is a type of white radish that primarily grows in Southeast and East Asia. Its appearance is similar to that of a white carrot, with a crunchy texture and a milder flavor compared to regular radishes.

Origin and History

The daikon radish belongs to the species Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, within the Brassicaceae family, alongside other vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, turnip, and watercress. It has been cultivated for over 2000 years in China and Japan and was introduced to Europe and America by Portuguese missionaries and traders in the 16th century.

Benefits and Properties

Highly prized in Asian cuisine, especially Japanese and macrobiotic, daikon radish provides vitamins C and B, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and fiber. It also boasts depurative, digestive, diuretic, and antioxidant properties.

Popular Varieties

There are many varieties of daikon radish, distinguished by their shape, color, size, flavor, and harvest time. Some of the most well-known include:

  • Sakurajima Daikon: Originating from Japan, it has a round and large root with white skin and juicy flesh.
  • Minowase Daikon: Hailing from Japan, it features an elongated and cylindrical root with white skin and crunchy flesh.
  • Miyashige Daikon: Native to Japan, it has an elongated and conical root with white skin tinged with greenish hues and tender flesh.
  • Icicle Daikon: Originating from China, it has a long and slender root with white skin and firm flesh.
  • Watermelon Daikon: Originating from China, it has a small and round root with dark green skin and pink or red flesh.

Recipe: Daikon Radish Soup

A simple and healthy recipe you can make with daikon radish is daikon radish soup. To prepare it, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 400 g daikon radish, cubed
  • 400 g potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pot and sauté the leeks, onion, and garlic over medium-low heat until soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the daikon radish, potatoes, water, star anise, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the daikon and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the star anise and blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a lighter texture, you can add a bit more water or vegetable milk.
  4. Serve the soup hot or warm, accompanied by toasted bread or croutons if desired.

Conclusion

In summary, daikon radish is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that has played a significant role in Asian cuisine for centuries. With a wide variety of cultivars and a range of health benefits, it's a delicious and healthy choice to incorporate into your daily dishes.

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