Daikon what? Daikon radish.

Ever hear of a daikon radish? I heard about it a few months ago when I read Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet.
There are many types of radishes and all have unique, amazing health benefits. The Daikon radish is high on that list.  It is also one of those vegetables that on its own doesn’t scream at you with flavor, which means it will take on the seasonings you pair with it. Cool.
The Daikon radish is a Japanese white radish. I find it around here at Sunny Bridge. I haven’t seen it yet at Giant Eagle. Let me know if you do. It can be eaten cooked or raw and provides a wonderful crunch to salads and can be easily thrown in stir fry.
How is your digestion after a heavy meal? No one likes to talk about it but it is the real deal. Gas? Bloating? Constipation? Raw daikon is used throughout Japanese and macrobiotic cooking to complement the taste of oily and fatty foods and, more importantly, to aid in their digestion. That’s right, it is totally cool to eat some yummy fatty foods when the time is right. Just give your body some help and add something that will help your body process it.
Does your body need a spring cleaning? Daikon is is abundant in digestive enzymes similar to those found in the human digestive tract. These enzymes – diastase, amylase, and esterase – help transform complex carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into their readily assimilable components. Traditional Japanese restaurants serve grated daikon (daikon oroshi) in tempura dip to help digest oils, or shredded daikon with raw fish to help digest the protein. Grated daikon is a wonderful aid to people with a weak digestive system. It is important, however, to use grated daikon immediately. In just thirty minutes nearly 50 percent of its enzymes are lost. Use it up yo!

Mucus issues anyone? I used to be the mucus queen! Daikon has also been shown to be effective as a diuretic and decongestant. As a diuretic, raw daikon promotes the discharge of excess water by the kidneys. The result is increased urination and gradual reduction of the swelling condition known as edema. As a decongestant, the enzymes in daikon juice seem to help dissolve mucus and phlegm in the respiratory system and facilitate their discharge from the body. Hells yeah! Sounds better than overdosing on allergy medicines like Allegra, right?
Daikon is high in vitamin C and folacin. Like its relatives broccoli, cabbage and kale, daikon is a cruciferous vegetable that offers cancer-protecting potential.
Plus, it is beautiful don’t ya think?

Here is a super easy recipe for a yummy stir-fry that I cooked up the other night.
Soy Saucy Daikon Stir-Fry
1 tablespoon peanut oil (Never try it?  YOU MUST!  Amazing!)
1 leek, chopped (Not sure how to cut up a leek? Stay tuned. Will be a future blog!)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Protein of your choice (I used tofu this time. Be creative!)
tamari soy sauce, to taste
1/2 daikon radish, thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
dark leafy greens (collards, kale, swiss chard, etc.), thinly sliced (I used 3 large leaves of collards)
fresh parsley, to taste for garnish
brown rice, 1 cup cooked
Saute onion and garlic in oil for a few minutes. Add protein and saute. Add daikon, carrots and celery. Add tamari soy sauce. I like my veggies a little crunchy but I do cook them down enough so Madilyn can enjoy with us!  Serve over brown rice. Enjoy!

Will you try daikon? Let me know your thoughts.

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  1. First time I heard of it was when Haruki Murakami spoke at MIT. He was just telling a personal story about living in Japan and shopping. The next time it was when I learned about macrobiotics. Now I see it everywhere – ok not everywhere but Whole Foods definitely carries it 🙂

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