Dried Daikon Threads, Kiriboshi Daikon, from 'Preserving the Japanese Way' by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

After Sauteed Shishito Peppers with Miso and Ginger, here's a second recipe from  Preserving the Japanese WayTraditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen (Andrews McMeel, August 2015) by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Dried  Daikon Threads, Kiriboshi Daikon

Makes: 3 ounces (85 grams)

1 large daikon (about 1¾ pounds/800 g)


Scrub the daikon with a rough hemp-bristled vegetable brush (tawashi, page XVII). Dry. Lop off the top light green or spongy portion of the daikon. (After the frost, the top exposed portion of the daikon freezes in the night, so it cannot be used.) Using the julienne blade of a mandoline or a Japanese tooth grater (like a Benriner), grate the daikon into thin strips: Grasping the bottom end portion of the daikon in your dominant hand, stroke the daikon across the blade at a slight diagonal until you can no longer take a pass without drawing blood.

Line two (or more) wide-open baskets with butcher paper and dry the threads in the hot sun for as long as it takes (about 1 week, depending on the weather). Store inside the house or garage at night. Junko dries hers initially in a dehydrator until almost dried (for the most part dried, but thicker sections are not quite). She then spreads them under the winter sun for 2 or 3 days (bringing in at night) to infuse the daikon with natural energy from the sun. Bear in mind that unless you use a dehydrator like Junko does, your dried daikon threads will not be quite as stiff as the ones pictured on the opposite page.

Soak dried daikon threads in cold water for about an hour, or warm water for 15 minutes, to reconstitute before using. (Beware: After soaking, the dried daikon will have grown fourfold!) Use in stir-fries such as kimpira: Sauté with julienned carrots in a little oil and dried red chile pepper. Throw in some julienned thin-fried tofu (usuage, page XXIX) if you can find it, and season with soy sauce before serving. Or skip the dried chile pepper but follow the rest of the previous method, and drizzle in some of the soaking liquid or dashi along with a few tablespoons soy sauce. Sprinkle with shaved katsuobushi before serving.

Variation: For wariboshi daikon cut the daikon into 3-inch (8 cm) lengths and shave off ¹⁄5-inch (5-mm) thick slices of daikon with a mandoline or flat cutting blade. Stack about 4 slices at a time and cut those into ¹⁄5-inch (5-mm) wide strips. Dry in the same way as for kiriboshi daikon. The strips should be desiccated, but they will still have a little bend to them. Soak in dashi or with konbu in water for 1 hour before squeezing and pickling in Soy Vinegar (page 150) with a little sugar and torn dried red chile. 

(* Recipe reproduced from Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen by Nancy Singleton Hachisu/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, August 2015)

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