Daikon and carrot salad is a classic with a refreshingly bracing flavor. Daikon radish in a cold dish is especially compatible with Asian-themed meals. This interpretation gets a burst of color with red cabbage, and extra crunch with sesame seeds.
The word daikon actually comes from two Japanese words, dai (large) and kon (root). And that’s just what it is. This radish variety is commonly about a foot long, and increasingly common in the produce section of well-stocked supermarket.
Slightly sweet and surprisingly juicy, daikon has a bite that’s milder than red radishes. It’s definitely a radish that’s easy to love, and versatile in the kitchen (tip: it’s great pickled!). Learn more about daikon radish.
A swap-in for daikon: If you can’t find daikon, as it’s not available everywhere, substitute two medium turnips, peeled.
Grated daikon radish is sometimes served in small quantities as a condiment with meals in many Asian countries, since it’s considered a good digestive aid. Combining it with carrot and cabbage makes it more substantial as a salad.
And though it was mentioned that this salad goes particularly well with Asian-style meals (stir-fries, sushi, etc.), honestly, you can serve it with anything.
- 6- to 8-inch section of daikon radish, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated or cut into thin matchsticks (or 1 cup pre-grated carrot)
- 1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or natural granulated sugar, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh or squeeze-bottle ginger, or to taste
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons white or black sesame seeds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the ingredients in a serving bowl and toss together.
- Taste to see if you’d like to increase the amount of rice vinegar, lemon juice, agave, and/or ginger.
- Let the salad stand for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, then serve.
Variation: If you can't find daikon, swap in two medium turnips, peeled.
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