Daikon (from Japanese 大根, literally “large root”), also called white radish, Japanese radish, Oriental radish, Chinese radish, lo bok and mooli (from Hindi/Urdu Muulii), is a mild flavoured, very large, white East Asian radish.
In Japanese cuisine, many types of pickles are made with daikon including takuan and bettarazuke. Daikon is also frequently used shredded and mixed into ponzu (a soy sauce and citrus juice condiment) as a dip. Simmered dishes are also popular such as oden. Cut and dried daikon is called Kiriboshi-daikon (literally, cut-dried daikon) which is a common method of preserving food in Japan. Daikon radish sprouts (Kaiware-daikon) are used for salad or garnishing of sashimi. Daikon leaf is frequently eaten as green vegetables. Pickling and stir frying are common. The Daikon leaf is one of a leaves of Festival of Seven Herbs, called suzushiro.
In Chinese cuisine, turnip cake and chai tow kway are made with daikon. The variety called mooli has a high water content, and should be salted and drained before it is cooked. Sometimes Mooli is used to carve elaborate garnishes.
In Korean cuisine, a varietal is used to make kkakdugi and nabak kimchi use the vegetable, in addition to the soup muguk. This type of daikon is shorter, stouter, and has a pale green colour extending from the top, to approximately half way down the tuber.
In Pakistani cuisine, the young leaves of the daikon plant are boiled and flash fried with a mixture of heated oil, garlic, ginger, red chilli and a variety of spices. The radish is eaten as a fresh salad often seasoned with either salt and pepper or chaat masala.
In Bangladesh, fresh daikon is often finely grated and mixed with fresh chilli, coriander, flaked steamed fish, lime juice and salt. This light, refreshing preparation is served alongside meals and is known as mulo bhorta.
In South India, daikon is the principal ingredient in a variety of sambhar, in which roundels of the radish are boiled with onions, tamarind pulp, lentils and a special spice powder. When cooked, it can release a very strong odour.
The roots can be stored for some weeks without the leaves if lifted and kept in a cool dry place. If left in the ground, the texture tends to become woody, but the storage life of untreated whole roots is not long.
- Jicama – (This is especially good in recipes that call for daikon to be grated.)
- Young Turnip – (for pickling)
- Radish – (not as hot)
- Black Radish – (much more pungent)
- Pickled Ginger – (as a garnish)
- Parsnips – (in soups or stews)
- Turnips – (in soups or stews)
- English: oriental winter radish, daikon, long white radish, Japanese radish
- Arabic: fejil
- Chinese: loh bok, loh baak, loh bo, lai fu, lu fu, luobo
- Danish: raeddike, japanraeddike, kinaraeddike
- Dutch: ramenas
- Filipino: labanos, rabanos, alibanos
- French: rave, daikon
- German: Rettich
- Hindi: muli
- Italian: rafano
- Japanese: daikon
- Korean: mu
- Malay: lobak putih, lobak, lobak isi
- Portuguese: rabão, rábano
- Russian: red’ka
- Spanish: rábano
- Thai: hua piahs
- Vietnamese: cu cai trang