Food - Drink
Why Daikon Is So Popular In Japanese Cuisine
When it comes to traditionally Japanese ingredients, you may be familiar with miso or soy sauce, but you might not know about daikon, a vegetable that is indispensable to Japanese cuisine. Daikon doesn’t get much representation outside of Japan, so here's a rundown of this unique vegetable's history and its widespread appeal.
Daikon is a type of winter radish, but it resembles a massive, pale carrot more than the small red radishes you may know; it has a mild flavor and is packed with vitamins and nutrients. The crop became popular in Japan during the Edo Period around the 15th century, and is said to have saved the people of the city of Edo from famine several times.
Besides its historical significance, daikon is popular today because it’s so versatile and pairs well with all sorts of dishes, and the crop is sturdy and thrives year-round. When eaten raw, the bottom part of daikon can be spicy like horseradish, but when cooked, a natural sweetness emerges; the leaves of the radish are eaten as well, making it a no-waste veggie.