Glossary - Ingredients

Daikon radish


Rich in vitamin C, daikon contains active enzymes that aid digestion, particularly that of starchy foods. Select those that feel heavy and have lustrous skin and fresh leaves. Since vitamin C is destroyed by heat, raw daikon is often eaten in salads and as pickles, or grated for use as a condiment. If you do not have a Japanese-style grater, use a cheese grater and grate just before serving.



Daikon radishes are abundant in vitamin C and amylase, the enzyme that breaks down starch.

How to pick and store

  • Daikon radishes are sweeter and juicier in the autumn and winter.
  • If purchased with leaves, cut these off (to prevent loss of moisture), wrap up the daikon radish, and store in a refrigerator.


  • The portion close to the leaves is sweeter and recommended for raw consumption in salads, etc. The thicker middle portion is well-suited for use in simmered dishes.
  • The portion near the tip is pungent and somewhat bitter and can be used as a condiment when grated.
  • If the leaves are boiled while still fresh, these can be used in miso soup, Chinese fried rice and other stir-fried dishes.

Cooking Basics

Daikon radish - rounds

Peel the daikon radish, then cut into 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 in.) width slices.

Daikon radish - half-circle slices

Peel the daikon radish, cut vertically in half, then cut each half into 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 in.) width slices from end to end.

Daikon radish - quarter slices

Peel the daikon radish, cut into half vertically and then while holding both halves together with your hand, slice at consistent widths from end to end.

Daikon radish - matchstick juliennes

Peel the daikon radish, cut into 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 in.) width pieces, and slice these each into planks around 3 mm (0.1 in.) wide, gradually sliding and stacking these planks. Lastly, thinly cut into widths of around 3 mm (0.1 in.).

Daikon radish - julienned

Peel the daikon radish and cut into 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 in.) long pieces. Slice into 1 to 2 mm (0.1 in.) thick planks, stack by sliding these gradually, and then slice up into thin sticks from end to end.

Daikon radish - thickly peeling the skin

Thickly peel the skin of daikon radish to remove the fibrous portion that runs vertically near the skin and will become stringy when cooked. It will depend on each daikon radish, but usually peeling off 3 to 4 mm (0.2 in.) thick skin is recommended. The peeled skin can be used for "kinpira", a Japanese sauteed and simmered dish flavored with soy sauce, mirin and sugar.

Daikon radish - chateau cut

For simmered dishes such as broiled daikon or oden (a Japanese dish containing all kinds of ingredients cooked in broth and seasoned with soy sauce), the corners should be chamfered to prevent them from splitting. The aim is to take a knife and trim off the straight edges.

Daikon radish - making a cross cut

Make a cross-cut into the back side of a round-cut daikon with a knife for faster cooking and better absorption of flavors. The cut depth should be about 1/3 to 1/2 of the round-cut thickness.

Daikon radish - thin rectangular cut

Cut into 4 - 5 cm (1.6 to 2 in.) long pieces, peel, then cut lengthwise into 1 cm (0.4 in.) thick planks. Lastly, cut each slice lengthwise into 2 mm (about 0.1 in.) thick rectangular sticks.

Daikon radish - long stick cut

Cut into 4 - 5 cm (1.6 to 2 in.) long pieces, peel the skin, then cut lengthwise into 1 cm (0.4 in.) width planks. Lastly, cut each plank lengthwise into 7 mm to 1 cm (0.3 to 0.4 in.) thick long sticks.

Daikon radish - random cut

Peel the daikon radish and cut in half lengthwise, or cut into quarters lengthwise if large. From the edge, cut up irregularly into bite-size pieces.

Dried daikon radish strips - rehydrating

Place the dried daikon radish strips into a bowl, add enough water to cover each strip. Rub together to wash until all bubbles are released. After removing excess water, soak in enough water to cover all strips for about 20 minutes to rehydrate. Rehydrating time will vary depending on the thickness and condition of the dried daikon radish strips.

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