Daikon and carrot are a classic vegetable due in Japanese cuisine. Added to cold Asian noodle bowls like this one, the daikon radish and carrot combo makes a lovely warm-weather dish.
Slightly sweet and pleasantly juicy, daikon radish has a milder bite than red radishes and other varieties. It’s a crisp radish that’s easy to love, and versatile in the kitchen. Learn more about daikon radish.
Look for daikon radish in the produce section of well-stocked supermarkets and natural foods stores. That being said, daikon isn’t always readily available, so two suggested swaps would be white turnip or jícama.
As for the noodles, you’ve got a choice — my favorite for this is recipe is soba (buckwheat noodles), but you can also use somen (another spaghetti-shaped Japanese noodle that’s milder than soba), or even curly ramen.
Complete the meal: Since this is a cross between a noodle dish and a salad, all you need is a simple protein to round out the meal. I suggest Easy Tofu Teriyaki, which fits beautifully with the noodle bowls for a thematic pairing.
About soba noodles
Soba, or buckwheat noodles are spaghetti-shaped noodles, though not quite as long as spaghetti. Most often imported from Japan or China, they combine hearty-tasting buckwheat flour with wheat or whole wheat flour.
The proportion of buckwheat flour varies, from 20% buckwheat/ 80% whole wheat to 100% buckwheat. The greater percentage of mineral-rich buckwheat, the more pronounced the flavor. 100% buckwheat is wheat-free, though this variety is much harder to come by. See this site’s Guide to Soba Noodles. and more delectable soba noodle recipes.
- 8-ounce package soba, somen, ramen, or other Asian noodles
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil or dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or other mild vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 5- to 6-inch length daikon radish peeled and cut into matchsticks or coarsely shredded (or see swaps in Notes)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut to match the daikon (or use 1 1/2 cups pre-shredded carrots)
- Bottled or homemade Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing (see link in Notes)
Toppings (any or all)
- Sesame seeds
- Thinly sliced scallion
- Dried hot red pepper flakes or sriracha
- Toasted nori (sea vegetable), cut into strips
- Snow peas, trimmed (raw or very lightly steamed)
- Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again.
- Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl. Drizzle in the oil, tamari, vinegar, and agave and toss together.
- Prepare the daikon and carrots as directed and place in separate bowls.
- Arrange 4 to 6 bowls as shown, with separate mounds of noodles, daikon, and carrots. Top with any of the embellishments you’d like to use, then serve, passing around the sesame ginger dressing around. (Alternatively, you can simply mix the daikon, carrots, and any of the embellishments all together, scoop into serving bowls, and pass around the dressing.)
Substitutes for daikon:
1 or 2 crisp white turnips, peeled and coarsely grated, or 1 medium jícama, peeled and coarsely grated
Here’s a link to our Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing.
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