Daikon is one of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine. It has a firm yet yielding texture and ability to meld with any flavors it comes in contact with such as oden broth. However, most ways of eating daikon involve cooking which largely squanders the precious vitamin C that it contains.

You could eat it raw, but on its own daikon has a bitter and bland flavor suitable for no one. At least, it did until now thanks to a recipe posted on Cookpad, Japan’s premier recipe site, by a user with the handle of ayureo. This recipe is certifiably delicious, cheap, and so simple that anyone can do it — even us!

First make sure you have the necessary ingredients.

What you need

  • Daikon (3-7cm segment)
  • Kinako (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Sugar (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Cinnamon (a couple pinches)

That’s it! You’ll find to make a decent sized serving you don’t need much. Price-wise, it would probably amount to about 15 yen (US$0.13). Kinako is a type of powdered roasted soybean that’s often used in Japanese confectioneries. It has a wheaty flavor that’s much more savory and full-bodied than flour but compliments sweet tastes very well.

First, cut off a small segment of the daikon between 3 and 7 centimeters (1.2 – 2.8 inch) depending on how much you want to eat. Be careful, you might be surprised with how much comes out of such a small piece.

After peeling the skin off, dice your daikon puck into cubes of about 0.5 to one centimeter (1/5 – 2/5 inch). Smaller is probably better as you’ll see in the next step.

Once the the daikon is diced place all the pieces on a paper towel to soak up most of the moisture. This is the trickiest part. I recommend leaving it until you feel completely confident that the daikon pieces have dried out enough. In my case, about 10 minutes worked out well. That might have been longer than necessary but better safe than sorry.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the seasoning. Simply put equal parts kinako and sugar into a bowl. The amount of each depends on how much daikon you use. In my case, I used one tablespoon of each for the amount of daikon shown in the photos.

You can also add some cinnamon to the mix – not too much though! It has a bold taste and a little will go a long way. Some people prefer to leave out the cinnamon and say that it turns out great anyway, so feel free to experiment. Before using give it a quick stir so that it’s an even brown color.

Then, begin to put the seasoning on the daikon in stages. One third at a time should work well. Each time you add the seasoning, shake the daikon pieces around so that they become evenly covered.

After all of the seasoning is added it should look like this. After taking your first bite you’ll surely be surprised and hooked on this taste. All of the bitterness of the daikon will have vanished and you will be left with a sweet and bold tasting snack with a delightfully firm texture.

By the way, if you happened to not dry out the daikon enough like I did the first time, they will end up like this.

It’s less pleasant visually but actually tastes just fine as long as you don’t mind the sloppiness.

Granted this recipe is essentially putting sugar on something to make it more delicious which would probably work on anything, but it is really surprising how well daikon in particular meshes with these sweet flavors considering its natural taste is anything but sweet. It’s just something you’ll have to experience for yourselves, so by all means grab a radish and get dicing!

Source: Cookpad via Spotlight Media (Japanese)
Photos & Video: RocketNews24

▼ Also please refer to this instructional video, starring yours truly, on how to make sweet daikon snacks. It cost 800 million millionths of yen to produce.