the appetizer:

My Japanese Table, A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family by Debra Samuels includes recipes like String Beans with Crunchy Toasted Peanuts Ingen no Peanutsu Ae; Simmered Daikon with Citrus Miso Sauce; Eriko's Onion, Clam, and Potato Fritters Kakiage; and Elementary School Sampler Bento.

Cookbook Profile

Simmered Daikon with Citrus Miso Sauce

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Daikon with Citrus Miso Sauce


The daikon radish is almost two vegetables in one. When it is eaten raw and grated, it is sharp and spicy; when simmered in water or Dashi (Fish Stock), it becomes soft and sweet. You would barely recognize it as the same vegetable. I recommend using Dashi (Fish Stock) as it does add a soft but distinct flavor to the daikon. For this recipe, cut the root vegetable into 2-inch thick (5 cm) rounds. But, don't forget, there is cutting and then there is cutting Japanese-style. Trim or shave the edges of the circle with a knife to round them slightly, creating a "beveled edge," as Elizabeth Andoh, the celebrated cookbook author, describes in her detailed book on Japanese cuisine, Washoku. This is not just for aesthetics; it also helps the daikon hold its shape over long simmering times. like a good boiled potato, this preparation brings out the best in the vegetable. Top off the tasty chunk with a swirl of sweet miso. When you slice the lemon zest, the natural oil in the zest releases a citrusy aroma enhancing the whole sensory experience.

1. Peel and cut the daikon radish into 2-inch (5 cm) circles. Trim around the top and bottom edges of the radish circles to create a beveled edge using a paring knife or vegetable peeler.

2. Add the Dashi (Fish Stock) stock or water to a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chunks of daikon so they sit in one layer on the bottom of the pan.

3. Reduce the heat and simmer the daikon for 25-30 minutes or until the tip of a knife pierces the daikon through the center. There should be no resistance.

4. Continue cooking until the liquid is almost completely gone but be careful not to burn the bottoms. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chunks to a serving platter.

5. Add the miso, sake, and mirin to a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stirring constantly, cook the sauce for 2 minutes. Take the miso off the heat and add the lemon juice and grated lemon zest.

6. With a spoon or pastry brush, add about 1/2 tablespoon of the sweet miso paste to the top of each chunk.

7. Cut a sliver of lemon zest for each radish. Just before setting the zest on top of the miso, gently twist to release the aroma and natural lemon oil into the miso.


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This page created October 2011