Daikon, the long, white, giant carrot-shaped radish, is a popular winter root vegetable in Japan. It is commonly added to soups and simmered dishes because its neutral flavour makes it good for soaking up the tastes of the other ingredients. But if you’ve only ever eaten it cooked (or if you’ve never eaten it at all…!) then you’re missing out on the fresh crispiness of daikon in its raw form!
The co-stars of this Japanese recipe include mizuna, a leafy green from the mustard plant family, commonly found in mesclun salad mixes; shiso, a potent spice from the mint family; and umeboshi, Japan’s famous pickled plum, notorious for making your face pucker up with one bite. The umeboshi dressing (ume-ae) is what makes this dish is a type of aemono, or “dressed thing”.
Put them all together and what do you get? A fresh salad chock-full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, with a kick of flavour to boot!
Daikon Salad with Ume-Ae
- 200 g daikon peeled
- 1 bunch mizuna
- 3 leaves shiso
- 2 umeboshi
- 1 tbsp ponzu
- 1 pinch sugar
- ½ tsp rice vinegar
- Julienne the daikon and leave it in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes (this is to make it nice and crisp!), then drain and spin dry in salad spinner (or if you don’t have one, pat it dry with paper towel).While daikon is soaking, cut the mizuna into 4-5 cm lengths, and chiffonade the shiso.
- Combine the daikon, mizuna and shiso in a bowl and mix.
- Remove the pits from the umeboshi, then mince and combine with the other dressing ingredients.
- Dress the salad just before you’re ready to eat it!