ChihYu studied classical music and is a professional pianist. Her profound love for food and cooking come from a family tradition of cooking. She’s been living in New York for the past decade and her aim is to share simple, fun, and nutritious “east-meets-west” recipes that are also Paleo friendly. If you’d like to find out more about ChihYu, head over to IHeartUmami.com where you can read her personal story and other interesting recipes. Connect with ChihYu on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
I am so honored to be invited to guest post on The Paleo Mom! I first came across Sarah’s website while I was researching gut-health recipes. Shortly afterward, I was immersed in reading and digesting all the useful information for people with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues.
Although I am blessed with a pretty healthy gut, food and medicine are often considered two sides of the same coin in Asia. People there believe that medicine doesn’t always come in a pill. As a matter of fact, some of the most delicious food is not only medicinal but also easily found at the local grocery stores.
I’m sure you have seen daikon, the big, white, strange looking vegetable, in your local “farmacy”.
Just a few years ago, I used to have to help cashiers in the grocery stores identify what this vegetable was as they punched in the register codes for my produce. Lately, I get that question less and less often.
Apparently, daikon has risen up the billboard and gained popularity in the U.S. !
To learn how you can enjoy this root vegetable and improve your gut health, read on and I have a simple recipe for you to enjoy at the end of this article.
What is Daikon
So what exactly is this root vegetable that looks like a big white carrot? Actually, in Mandarin (the primary language of China and Taiwan and the writing system that’s the root of Cantonese and Japanese), people literarily call daikon the Big White Carrot (大白蘿蔔).
For anyone who has had the pleasure of enjoying Japanese cuisine, it’s the part of your meal that looks ice shavings, and which is often presented with ginger pork stir-fry, Japanese fried tofu (age tofu), or any tempura dishes.
Nutritional Facts & Health Benefits
The flavor of daikon (or Chinese radish) is refreshingly crisp with a slight spicy and peppery taste. This vegetable actually contains many beneficial nutrients that are not only great for our overall health but which also taste wonderful when prepared properly.
- Digestive health:
Daikon is rich in digestive enzymes. The radish juice helps promote digestion, especially of high-fat foods. This is part of the reason that Japanese people serve shaved daikon alongside greasy or oily food.
Raw daikon juice is abundant with human digestive enzymes that help the body process proteins, oil, fat and carbohydrates.
- Detoxify the body:
Daikon helps to keep the kidneys clean and functioning at a high level by stimulating the elimination of excess toxins, fats, and even water through urination. It also helps release excess, unwanted body fluid and aids kidney detox.
- Weight loss:
Daikon is very low in calories and has almost zero fat. People in Asia, especially women, love eating daikon to help weight loss.
- Skin health and Nutrition Facts:
Daikon has a high amount of vitamin C. It’s also rich in vitamin B (mostly B9), minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and dietary fibers.
How to enjoy daikon radish
When selecting daikon, you want to look for a firm and crisp texture. Limp roots are past their prime and are likely to be dry inside.
Some people say that daikon is best to be eaten raw in order to preserve the vitamin C. I personally prefer having them in cooked soup or, if raw, in salad dressing to balance the spicy taste of the raw vegetable.
Cooked daikon is best in chicken, pork, or miso soup. Its flavor is the sweetest when it is completely cooked through and tender. You can test whether it is done by inserting a toothpick or fork into the thickest part of the vegetable. It should pierce the flesh easily, with little resistance.
To help you enjoy this refreshing and gut healthy summer vegetable, I have prepared three simple recipes you can enjoy at home today!
Now I’d like to hear from you……
What are your favorite super foods?
Have you eaten daikon before? What do you think of it?
How have you used food as medicine recently?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
To your good health.
Ingredients (Group A):
- 1 large Daikon radish, peeled and cut into chunks
- 6 cup of chicken stock
Ingredients (Group B):
- 1 pound ground veal, chicken, or pork
- One 2-inch piece of ginger, cut into small chunks
- 2 whole cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp red chilli pepper (optional)
- 1 medium size egg
- 2 tsp sweet potato starch
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp gluten free tamari soy sauce
- Peeled daikon radish and cut into small chunks
- Put chopped daikon in a large soup pot. Add chicken stock to cover daikon.
- Bring to boil then turn medium heat for another 30-40 minutes until radishes are completely cooked through and tender.
- Combine ingredients B and form 12-14 meatballs.
- Heat 1 tbsp of EVOO or coconut oil in a sautéed pan.
- Add meatballs; cook about 3-4 minutes, lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Tip: only brown the surface of meatballs. We’ll finish the cooking process later on.
- Set meatballs aside and wait until daikon radishes are completely cooked through.
- Combine B and A; cover and simmer 10 minutes more. Transfer meatballs and daikon to serving bawl