This Japanese style coleslaw is seriously simple and seriously delicious. Daikon and carrot pair fabulously together, especially in a tasty Asian-style dressing. Okay, I am biased, I love most any foods with an Asian flair.
So if you haven’t already done so, give daikon a try. It’s delicious. If you are not already familiar, daikon is a long white vegetable from the radish family. It’s similar in appearance to fresh horseradish, or giant white carrot, if there were such a thing. It can grow close to 60 cm long and it’s taste is more sweet than spicy but the finish is peppery.
Popular is Asian cuisine, this “white radish” is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean. It reached Japan, by way of China, about 2,000 years ago. Today, Japan devotes more of it’s land to the cultivation of daikon than any other vegetable and appears at almost every Japanese meal, in one form or another. It’s name is derived from the Japanese words dai (large) and kon (root) – makes sense, doesn’t it?
I buy these vegetables in my local farmer’s market, but you can also pick one up at an Asian market and sometimes I see then at the regular supermarket.
Instead of slicing everything into thin julienned strips, I use a mandoline to make paper thin rounds. I can’t imagine achieving thin slices any other way. A mondoline is fabulous at producing beautiful, uniform, and incredibly thin cut slices, quickly and easily.
This delicious side pairs fabulously with glazed salmon.
JAPANESE DAIKON AND CARROT SLAW
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/2 daikon (white radish), peeled and sliced thinly with a mandoline
4 small or 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly into rounds with a mandoline
5 green onions, white and light green part only, chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, garnish
1. In a small skillet, toast the sesame seeds, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, and sesame oil until well combined.
3. In a large bowl, combine the daikon, carrots, green onion and cilantro. Add the dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve. Be sure to toss everything together just before serving to keep the vegetables crisp!