Let’s Cook Daikon with Konnyaku
Daikon is the Asian version of the radish, except that it is white and large, and shaped like a carrot. It can be spicy when it’s eaten raw, but when it’s cooked, its flavor becomes mild with a slightly sweet taste. In this dish, we are going to simmer it in a broth of soy sauce, rice wine (sake) and seasoned rice wine (mirin). The flavor of the daikon still sings out even though it absorbs all the flavors of the broth. This is my mom’s recipe that we tweaked over the weekend. We added konnyaku (yam cake), which you can find at the Japanese grocery store. Konnyaku is used often in hot pot cooking because it doesn’t break down and has an appealing jelly-like texture. (My kids love it). This dish can be served warm or at room temperature. The taste improves the next day.
Daikon and Konnyaku
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 ½ pounds daikon (1 medium)
1 ½ cups water
9 ounces (about 1 cup) konnyaku
1 piece of dried kelp (kombu) 4 x 4 inches
1 tablespoon mirin (seasoned rice wine)
1 tablespoon sake
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1. Scrub the daikon clean under cold running water. Cut off the green stem and discard. Remove 1/8 inch of the peel along the length of the daikon using a sharp knife. The reason for peeling it thickly is to remove the fibrous part of the peel and to leave only the fleshy part of the vegetable. (Save the peel for making pickles; otherwise, discard). Cut the daikon crosswise into 2-inch thick rounds.
2. Add 1 ½ cups water and daikon in a 2-3 quart pot; raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook the daikon over medium-high heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain the daikon in a sieve. Discard liquid.
2. Cut the konnyaku into thin 1 ½ inch squares (like the shape of small tiles). Add the konnyaku, kelp, mirn, sake, salt and soy sauce to a 2 to 3-quart pot; then add the boiled daikon to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Let’s get ready to make daikon. Dozo!
First, scrub and rinse the daikon in fresh water. (I used a potato brush).
Kids rating: S liked daikon, L did not, but both liked konnyaku