Daikon salad, and then some
(FIVE recipes follow)
Well, spring is here. Soon I won’t be able to hide.
Pre-blog, I was exceptionally organized. I discovered David Allen a decade earlier and his program made all the difference. Blogging — and then photography — introduced unknown unknowns into my life flow and my over-organized world is now piles of ToDo all over my apartment, on my computer, in my Dashboard.
What to do?
Well, I finally made myself reorganize. I set goals. I made lists. I decided deadlines. I programed automated alarms into my computers to get me up at six even on my days off to:
- Work out.
Yes, work is low priority and photography actually is higher on my list but blogging and photography are directly connected. Working out, oddly, doesn’t fit in — or does it?
I confess dear reader, I have exploded. In my life I have never been fat and not coincidentally I’ve never been sick. (My sick days have been largely fictional.) Putting my hand on my midsection today, I feel like I’m touching someone else. I’ve been growing my hair since October and now looking in the mirror is fascinating. Who is that disorganized, chubby Bohemian? Why it’s me! but it doesn’t have to be.
There is nothing wrong with being big, but all of this together is not who I am. I’m putting everything back in it’s place — starting in the kitchen.
Daikon salad is a filling, healthy addition to lunch or dinner. Further, you can quickly turn it into a pickle (link coming) or squeeze the water out, season it, and stuff a paratha (link coming). Keeping a bag full of vegetables is the first step in an easy breakfast (if you’re in Japan), lunch, dinner. All you need to do peel and grate a daikon and carrot, add a bit of salt to release the liquid, rinse the salt off, and store it in a bag — daikon keeps for weeks — and it’s extremely low calorie.
Daikon are very large vegetables, large enough for you to make several dishes including my new favorite Braised Daikon, which works especially well with beef stock and just a bit of butter.
Daikon Salad and three dressings
- Peel and grate 500 grams of daikon.
- Peel and grate 250 grams of carrot.
Method: Place in a lage bowl with one teaspoon of salt an let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour. This will help the vegetables expel their moisture, weaken the cell walls, and season the dish. Rinse in water, strain and taste. Is the daikon too pungent for you? If so, fill the bowl with water and let it set for five minutes, strain and taste. If it’s still too pungent for your taste repeat the rinsing process and/or fill the bowl with water and add 1/4 cup of sugar and let set for ten minutes. When the daikon is right for you put it in the salad spinner and then into an airtight plastic bag or container and refrigerate. During the week take out a measured amount and add a dressing. Here are some options, just add to a bowl and mix
- 1 Tbsp. grated onion with juice
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp. roasted white sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 3 tablespoons ponzu
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds, ground if you prefer more flavor
- Up to 3 tablespoons sesame oil or flavorless oil
- Daikon sliced 1 to 2 inch thick, enough to fill your pan
- 1 – 3 tablespoons butter or oil spread over the pan
- Up to 1 cup of beef stock
- Salt to taste
Method: To braise the daikon add a little fat to a pan, butter is the best option but sesame or flavorless oil work well, too — the fat browns the daikon providing flavor. Add thick slices of daikon and turn the heat up to high. Move the pan around to prevent them from sticking and after they color to your liking turn them over to brown the other side then add the liquid, turn to low, cover and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover and take a photo. Turn the heat up to high to evaporate the liquid, which creates a thin sauce.
Note: If you’d like to make this vegetarian, I suggest 1:1:1 soy sauce, mirin, sake in 1 cup of water or dashi. Taste it before adding and correct the proportion to suit your taste.