Dehydrating daikon

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This isn't as large as they can grow, making it hard to fit them in the fridge
This isn’t as large as they can grow, making it hard to fit them in the fridge

I’m very partial to daikon, the enormous white radish that’s much loved in Japan. It grows very fast, up to the size of my forearm, and it’s pretty pest resistant.

That success is also the challenge: how to get through an arm-sized daikon with the two of us?

My recent purchase of Preserving the Japanese Way provided a timely solution: dehydration.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds! Plenty of other things are dehydrated (think apple, banana, etc), including Japanese ingredients like seaweed.

A mandolin makes quick work of creating strips.
A mandolin makes quick work of creating strips.

The process is a simple one: use a mandolin to cut the daikon into thin strips. I tried two different sizes of strips, and the daikon was processed in under five minutes.

After a day in the dehydrator, this is the result.
After a day in the dehydrator, this is the result.

Then into the dehydrator it goes! Run it for a day at the medium setting, and the result is a tangle of dry strips. These can then be stored for many months. According to the cookbook, they need to be soaked for an hour or two before use.

Stored in a jar in the pantry, this will last for many months.
Stored in a jar in the pantry, this will last for many months.

 

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