As I promised last week, here’s another recipe for anyone still trying to work out what one does with daikon, other than wave them around the kitchen, in all their long radishy glory. I made this for dinner last night, along with a hot & sour stir fry of tofu, eggplant and capsicum, and some quick daikon & carrot pickles. It was well tasty!

The sauce for this dish is a sweetened miso sauce, known in Japan as dengaku miso. It keeps indefinitely in the fridge, and is traditionally used for Japanese country-style cooking, on top of eggplant or tofu. Because it’s cooked, the healthy miso cultures will no longer be viable, so I usually stir a little bit of fresh miso back into it when I put it in the fridge, in the hopes that it will recolonise. I have no idea if it actually works, but it can’t hurt.

Braised Daikon with Sweet Miso

The rice is there to soak up the bitterness of the daikon, resulting in a smooth, tender vegetable base for the sweet miso to shine through. The quantities of mirin and sugar aren’t a typo, you really do want almost as much sugar and mirin as miso.

Ingredients

1 daikon radish

1 tablespoon of rice (any type except basmati or jasmine)

1 largish piece of kombu seaweed (optional)

2 tablespoons of red miso

1.5 tablespoons raw sugar

1.5 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)

Peeled daikon radish chunks

Peeled daikon chunks, ready for simmering

Method

Peel the daikon and cut into 4 chunks. Put the chunks and the rice into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium to high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until daikon is tender when poked with a skewer or knifepoint; this will probably take about 20 minutes. Drain and discard the rice, and rinse the daikon chunks under cold water until cool.

While the daikon is cooking, make the miso sauce. Mix the miso, sugar and mirin together, then cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to as low as possible, and stir constantly until the mixture is thick – you want it about as thick as your original miso. Turn the heat off and let the sauce sit while you finish the daikon.

Daikon radish & kombu seaweed

The braised daikon chunks soaking with kombu seaweed. That's the sweet miso sauce behind it, too.

Wash the saucepan you cooked the daikon in, then pop in the kombu and radish chunks, and cover with cold water again. Heat the pot to almost boiling point, then turn the heat off and let it sit for about 15 minutes to absorb the kombu flavour. If you don’t happen to keep dried seaweed in your kitchen, you can substitute with instant dashi (Japanese stock), or just use plain water. The seaweed does give it a lovely subtle flavour, though. I save the seaweed flavoured water afterwards, too, to use as a stock base.

While the daikon is sitting around, I usually stirfry whatever I’m serving along with it.

To serve, stand 2 chunks on your plate and top with a generous teaspoon of the miso. Add in whatever else you’re serving for your tasty dinner. Eat, making happy noises.

Braised daikon with sweet miso, and hot & sour stirfry

Serves 2 people as a side dish.

Just to round off the daikon posts, here is the daikon I started drying in last week’s daikon post. As you can see, it’s shriveled up and dried nicely, and is ready to be popped into a jar until the next time I make an Asian-style hotpot. So if you’re really stuck for things to do with your radish, you can always delay having to make up your mind!


Dried daikon radish

Last week's daikon slices, now completely dry and ready to put away

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