Daikon radish is available in most grocery stores. Long, thin, and white, it has a crunch you’d expect from a radish, but with a milder, tangy flavour. It’s excellent grated, steamed, fried, chopped, sautéed . . . you get the idea. Here we make a salad from both the radish and its green leaves, flavouring it with a triple hit of tart from the lemon, Dijon, and rice vinegar. And it’s all balanced out with the saltiness of miso paste and dashi stock.
Yields: 4 servings
1 medium-small daikon (about 1 1/4 pounds/570 g), with leaves if available
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) red miso paste
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60 mL) dashi stock (see below) or water
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon (15 mL) rice vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
Peel the daikon and slice into 2- by 1/4-inch (5 cm x 6 mm) julienne. Place in a colander. Chop a large handful of the tenderest leaves, if using, and add to the daikon along with the green onions. Sprinkle with salt and massage it in gently. Let sit for 10 minutes in a colander to drain.
In a small bowl, muddle together the red miso, mustard, ginger, and dashi stock (or water). Add the lemon zest and juice and the vinegar. Whisk in the oil until emulsified.
Squeeze the daikon and daikon leaves in handfuls of excess liquid, and drop into a clean serving bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve.
Use dashi stock powder (dashi no moto), which is made from bonito flakes, for instant dashi stock. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) for every 1 cup (250 mL) of hot water.