Posts Tagged ‘daikon’

Spring ingredients – baby daikon

Upon visiting a local Asian supermarket recently, I came across some baby daikon.  Daikon, described as a white Japanese radish, is also known as a Mooli which is more readily available now at Asian grocers.  I have only recently discovered that there are different varieties of daikon; some are sweet, and some have more of a hot, peppery flavour.  Mooli, while not the hottest daikon, are not as sweet as some of the Japanese ones available.  I was therefore really pleased to discover the  baby daikon in the hope that they would be sweeter.  While they had a little pepperiness to them, they did not disappoint and were quite tender and sweeter and made a nice addition to the nimono I made.  Nimono are simmered dishes which are cooked in a dashi stock and seasoned with soya sauce, mirin and sometimes sake.

Recommendations for choosing daikon are selecting ones preferably with healthy leaves attached (you can also cook and eat the leaves), or, failing that, healthy stalks where the leaves were.  This way you ensure that you get a fresher daikon which is still succulent.

Japanese herbs and vegetables

Red Shiso

Although I love Japanese food and cooking it, when it comes to vegetables, I can’t always find the ingredients I want to use or they are too expensive to justify buying often. So, last year, when I discovered Nicky’s seeds had a whole range of seeds for Japanese vegetables, I decided to have a go at growing my own.  Unfortunately, the only success was the red shiso but I did have lots of flavoursome red shiso leaves to use in temaki sushi with fine julienne strips of cucumber and some ume plum paste.

Basil

However, this year, I must have done something right because all but the green shiso leaves are doing really well.  At the same time, I have been growing basil, parsley and chives and noticed considerable similarities between these herbs, particularly in their earlier stages of growth.   Young shiso and basil seedlings look very similar demonstrating that they both come from the same family – mint.  It also explains why shiso seems to have similar flavours to both mint and basil.

Parsley and mitsuba have very similar seedlings which is also demonstrative of the fact that they are both from the same family.