Food Forum
Vol. 36 No. 1   Spring 2022

MORE ABOUT JAPANESE COOKING

TRADITIONAL RECIPE

SIMMERED DAIKON AND TSUKUNE MEATBALLS

Ingredients

Serves 4

195 kcal Protein 16.2 g Fat 13.4 g (per serving)

  • 1/2 medium daikon, about 8-10 cm / 3-4 in. diameter
  • Water*
  • 50 g / 1.8 oz. mizuna Japanese mustard greens
Simmering liquid
  • 720 ml / 3 C dashi stock
  • 3 T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 2 T Kikkoman Manjo Mirin
Tsukune meatballs
  • 200 g / 7 oz. ground pork or chicken
  • 1 T beaten egg
  • 1 T grated yamato-imo glutinous yam or naga-imo Chinese yam
  • 1 t granulated sugar
  • 1 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 t juice squeezed from grated ginger
  • 1 T water
  • Sansho Japanese mountain pepper powder
  • Yuzu citrus peel for garnish

Directions

  1. To prepare the daikon, cut 4 round slices, each 3.5 cm / 1.4 in. thick. Peel the thick skin. With a knife, make shallow cross-scoring** about a quarter of the depth of the slice (see photo). Round off edges of each slice and boil in enough water to cover the daikon over low-medium heat for 40 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool and then rinse. Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Cut the mizuna into 3 cm / 1.2 in. lengths and set aside.
  3. Place the simmering liquid ingredients in a saucepan. Add the daikon slices and cover with a drop-lid or parchment paper. Cook for 40 minutes over low heat.
  4. Combine the tsukune ingredients in a bowl, mix and knead well. Form 12 balls using two wet tablespoons; this will make it easier to form the balls. Add the meatballs to the simmering liquid in the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes over low-medium heat. Skim off the froth, which is aku.
  5. Pour 120 ml / 1/2 C of the simmered liquid into another saucepan; add the mizuna and parboil, then remove.
  6. Place the daikon, tsukune and mizuna in individual bowls. Pour simmering liquid over the ingredients and garnish with slivers of yuzu peel.

* Use rice water if available. This is water used to rinse rice prior to cooking. Rice water extracts unsavory smell, resulting in a more refined taste, and is used for parboiling daikon.
** See Fundamentals 101 for more on kakushi bocho scoring technique.

Recipe by Kikkoman Corporation

1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml