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Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon

Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon

I’m not one for making rigid New Year’s Resolutions. I’m gonna eat the carbs and drink the wine. But this *is* a good time to reflect on your health in general and your overall eating habits. One thing I am always interested in is finding more delicious ways to include a diverse range of plant based food into my diet. We’ve had some health issues in our family this year so it’s taken on a particular importance for me. That’s why I will be participating in Veganuary, the movement to encourage people to eat vegan all of January. 31 days of vegan meals is a great way to challenge yourself to try new foods and new techniques.

Which brings me to today’s Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon. You might not see this dish on many Japanese menus here; perhaps it’s not considered as sexy as sushi or gyoza or ramen. But this is just the kind of classic home cooking you would find in everywhere in Japan. Your grandmother makes it, it’s in bento boxes sold at train stations, and you’ll find it at many grab and go food spots.

Simple, nourishing, plant forward dishes that celebrate seasonal vegetables are the backbone of traditional Japanese cuisine. In this recipe, dried daikon radish and other veggies are simmered in a flavorful broth. These braised types of dishes are known as nimono and along with tsukemono (pickled veggies) are regular parts of a typical meal. Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon is wonderful served hot, cold, or at room temperature so let’s get into it.

ingredients for kiriboshi daikon

Daikon radish is a beloved vegetable and it’s particularly popular in the winter when other vegetables used to be scarce. Eaten raw, cooked, and pickled, it’s versatile and nutritious. BUT not gonna lie, it does smell pungent. And the dried form when it’s soaking is particularly pungent. But please do not let that put you off. The smell dissipates as it cooks. Plus there are so many foods that are delicious but smell. So let’s lean into smelly foods and embrace the funk.

 

Kiriboshi Daikon is dried strips of daikon radish. You can find it in bags in the dried good sections of well stocked Asian markets, or online. Just like other dried foods, say mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes, it needs to be reconstituted in hot water. Look for a pale color inside the packages. Kiriboshi daikon tends to darken over time and the flavor gets stronger. It’s still perfectly edible. For research purposes, (also known as forgetting what I have in the pantry), I have cooked several older packages and they were fine, but the overall look is not that appealing, like you added too much soy sauce to the pot.

kiriboshi daikon in water

The daikon will quadruple in volume. While it soaks I prep the other ingredients.

shiitakes daikon

Vegan cooking is a great time to practice your knife skills:

carrot kiriboshi daikon

Another ingredient that may be unfamiliar to you is the tofu cutlet. Tofu cutlets are a super convenient product because the tofu is already fried, which adds another nice element of flavor to our Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon. I keep them in the fridge alongside other tofu containers. You can use any tofu product here: aburaage (thin sheets of fried tofu), Yuba (tofu skin that has a chewy texture), or regular tofu. If you choose regular tofu, go for a firm one that will hold its shape in the braise. Use any leftover cutlet in my Lemongrass Tofu Rice Salad.

sliced tofu simmered daikon

Now everything is prepped and we’re ready to start cooking. One of the great things about Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon is that once the prep work is done, the cooking is mostly hands off. Just put everything along with the ingredients for the broth in the pot and let heat and time do its thing.

broth simmered kiriboshi daikon

Kiriboshi daikon has a toothsome but tender texture when done. It will not cook into a melt in your mouth feel. This makes a good amount that refrigerates well. You can reheat leftovers or just eat it straight out of the fridge.

I love to make meals out of veggie sides any time of year, and it’s especially useful when meal planning for Veganaury. While the Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon is cooking, steam some rice and roast some Maple Miso Glazed Squash and throw together my Korean Cucumber Salad. In less than an hour, you will have a vegan feast full of exciting textures and flavors that will make you think, “Oh yeah, I can definitely eat like this for at least a month”.

Are you doing Veganaury this year? Drop a comment and let me know, and of course remember to tag us in all your glorious food pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe care kiriboshi daikon

Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30m minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5060g (1 small package) kiriboshi daikon 
  • 3 cups boiling water (for soaking daikon)
  • 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 6 pieces fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ fried tofu cutlet (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil

Broth:

  • 1 ½ cups shiitake/kombu stock or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup reserved soaking water  
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons sake

Instructions

  1. Trim the stem from the shiitakes and discard. Slice the shiitakes into thin pieces. 
  2. Put the kiriboshi daikon in a colander and rinse under running water.
  3. Put the washed daikon into a medium bowl and cover with water. Rehydrate for 20 minutes. (It will quadruple in volume). Save ½ cup of the soaking liquid, and squeeze the water out of the soaked daikon. Cut the daikon into thirds so it is not so long.
  4. Cut the tofu cutlet in half horizontally into 2 thinner pieces. Then cut it into thin strips.
  5. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add carrots, shiitake mushroom, and kiriboshi daikon to the saucepan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add tofu strips and stir. Add the Broth ingredients to the saucepan, mix and bring it to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring several times until only a small amount of liquid remains. The daikon will have cooked to a toothsome tender texture.
  8. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*This dish is just as good hot, room temperature, or cold from the fridge.

 


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