Daikon radish

"Its a daikon radish!" my husband explained when he presented me with the long white root shown in the photograph below. "Also known as the mooli, white radish or oriental radish" he continued.

Apparently a neighbour had been growing them in his garden and my husband had done a swap for a bag of our greenhouse grown tomatoes. Growing your own vegetables is great, and in our village if you have a glut of one thing there is always someone who will exchange your surplus for something they have too much of.

However, it seemed that my husband's knowledge went no further than the different names this object was known by. It was therefore up to me to find out how to use it in the kitchen.

How to use Daikon Radish

Having not heard of daikon or mooli, I started by checking my cookery books for radish, which it has to be said, are not my favourite salad vegetables. But then I had only sampled the little red and white ones, known as French breakfast radish, before.

I discovered that the daikon radish can be eaten raw in salads, just like its French cousin. It could also be pickled or added to stews where it imparts a faint peppery bite. But I liked the idea of adding it to that evening's vegetable stir fry.

Vegetable stir fry

In addition to your mooli, you can choose any quantity of the following ingredients for your stir fry...

  • Red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • Onion, chopped or sliced
  • Button Mushrooms, left whole or cut in half
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Bean sprouts
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Carrots, cut into thin sticks or grated
  • Broccoli spears
  • Mange tout or snow peas
  • Mini sweetcorn cobs

I chose to grate half the daikon using the largest holes in my grater, but if yours is long and thin you may prefer to cut it into slices.

Ensure that all your vegetables are prepared and ready to go before starting to cook, as a stir fry will not be in the pan for long!

Start by adding vegetable oil to a traditional wok, a deep frying pan or a skillet. Heat this over a high heat until it is really hot. Then add the garlic and cook for a moment or two.

If you are using carrot sticks and/or baby sweetcorn, you may want to put them in next, so that they get a little longer in the pan than the rest of the ingredients. Then add everything else, including your grated daikon radish and keep stirring them around making sure that everything is coated in the hot oil.

Splash in a little soy sauce or balsamic vinegar and as soon as the vegetable begin to look wilted the stir fry is ready to serve. What could be easier?

I found that the daikon radish gave a little extra bite to the dish and would certainly repeat the experience if another daikon should come our way.

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