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Daikon

From Academic Kids

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Daikon.Japan.jpg
A pile of daikon in the supermarket
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TwinnedDaikon.jpg
An unusual looking daikon.

Daikon (Japanese: 大根; literally "large root"), Daikon radish, Chinese radish (Template:Zh-cpl), or Mooli (Raphanus sativus L.) is a mild-flavored East Asian giant white radish. Although there are many varieties of daikon, the most common has the shape of a giant carrot, approximately 8 to 14 inches (200 to 350 mm) long and 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm) in diameter. One of the most unlikely shaped daikon is Sakurajima daikon from Kagoshima Prefecture that is shaped like an oversized turnip with white outside and bright pink inside.

Daikon is a very important ingredient in Chinese cuisine, and is used in different dishes like poon choi. Chinese people use daikon to make Mooli Cake in the Chinese New Year. The cake is cooked either by frying or steaming. Daikon is often added to fishball curry, along with pig skin.

Daikon is an essential part of Japanese cuisine, too. It is used as a garnish for many dishes like sushi or as a simmered vegetable served in its own right. Daikon is also commonly grated, and served either as a garnish or as an accent in soups such as miso soup. It also accompanies tempura, for mixing into the sauce. With soy sauce it is served with Japanese-style hamburgers.

Shredded and dried daikon is called kiriboshi daikon (切干大根), literally cut-and-dried daikon. Pickled whole daikon is called takuan (沢庵), and often has a bright yellow color. It is claimed, but not historically supported, that a Buddhist monk called Takuan first made this pickled daikon to preserve vegetables for the long winter. Pickled sliced daikon, called senmaizuke, (千枚漬け) is a famous product of Kyoto.

Fresh leaves of daikon can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable but they are often removed when sold in a store because they do not adjust well to the refrigerator, yellowing quite easily.

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