Daikon radish is now in season in Japan. Yoko Munakata of the Better Home Association came up with a garlic-flavored dish made by braising it with beef. The sweetness and texture differs depending on the part of the radish used. The sweet yet hard part below the leaves is better eaten fresh or grated. The sweet and soft middle part is good stewed or in soups. The tangier tip may be grated to accompany grilled fish and other dishes. Munakata introduces another dish using the peel.
For braised daikon and beef (Serves four):
1/2 daikon radish (600 grams)
200 grams cut-off ends of beef (kiriotoshi)
Seasoning A (1 clove garlic and equal-sized ginger, both grated, 1/3 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sake, 1/3 Tbsp katakuriko starch, 1 Tbsp sesame oil)
1/4 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp sake
Black pepper, daikon leaves if available
Peel radish, cut lengthwise and then randomly into bite-sized pieces.
Lay radish in frying pan so they do not overlap. Sprinkle with salt, pour 1/2 cup water and sake and bring to a boil over medium heat. Place lid, lower heat and braise for about 15 minutes until bamboo skewer can enter smoothly.
Cut beef and mix in Seasoning A thoroughly in the above order.
Raise heat to dry off any liquid in pan. Spread beef on radish. Place lid and braise for 3-4 minutes over low medium heat. Remove lid and cook while separating meat. Sprinkle with pepper and, if available, finely-chopped leaves.
To make yuzu-flavored dish, cut daikon peel (100 grams) into rectangles, sprinkle with 1/3 tsp salt and leave for 10 minutes. Thinly peel quarter of yuzu and cut into fine strips. Squeeze juice. Squeeze out water from peel, mix with sweet vinegar dressing (1 Tbsp each of sugar and vinegar), yuzu zest and juice and pickle for about 30 minutes.
Estimated time: 25 minutes (5 minutes for preparation, 20 minutes for finishing the dish).
Nutritional information (per serving): kilocalories, 205; sodium content, 1.7 grams; fat content, 12.0 grams