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Traditional Braised Daikon
Recipe adapted from "Hiroko's American Kitchen" by Hiroko Shimbo (Andrew McMeel)
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 1½ hours plus overnight refrigeration
3 cups cold water
One 5-by 7-inch piece of kelp (also called kombu)
Spicy Miso Sauce
½ cup aged brown miso
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
3 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
One 1½-pound, 2 ½-inch thick piece of daikon radish, peeled and sliced into 2-inch lengths
1½ tablespoons white rice (either long or short grain)
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion (green part only)
1. Make the kelp stock: Add the water to a large bowl. Use a moist kitchen towel to lightly wipe the kelp, removing any sand or impurities, but taking care not to wipe off the white mannite powder on the surface. Add the kelp to the water (breaking the kelp if necessary so it is completely submerged) and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day, remove the kelp. If necessary, line a fine-mesh sieve with a moist, sturdy paper towel and strain the stock into a clean bowl. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days (the stock can be frozen for up to 2 months).
3. Make the spicy miso sauce: In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the miso, sugar, mirin and sake and whisk until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and the flavors mellow, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes. Use the sauce right away, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.
4. Make the daikon: To a medium saucepan, add the daikon pieces and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Place the rice in the center of a doubled piece of cheesecloth and secure the ends together with kitchen twine. Add the rice sachet to the saucepan and place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the water to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the daikon to a large bowl and rinse under cold water, changing the water at least 3 times (discard the cooking water and the rice sachet).
6. Add the kelp stock to the saucepan and set over medium heat, bringing the stock to a simmer. Add the rinsed daikon (if the stock doesn't completely cover the daikon, add more water to cover). Reduce the heat to low. Cook until a paring knife easily slips into the center of one piece, 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the daikon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, then place each piece on a small plate.
7. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the hot kelp stock with ¼ cup of the spicy miso sauce until smooth (save the remaining kelp stock and spicy miso sauce to use another time). Spoon the sauce over the daikon, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scallion, and serve warm. Calories per Serving: 69; Sodium: 285mg; Total Carbohydrate: 12g; Fiber: 3g; Fat: 1g