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Food Daikon 大根

Daikon (大根, "big root") is the Japanese term for the white oriental radish.

Daikon (Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus) is a mild-flavoured winter radish usually characterised by fast-growing leaves and a long, white, turnip-shaped root. Originally native to continental East Asia, daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region, as well as in South Asia, and is available internationally. In some locations, daikon is planted for its ability to break up compacted soils and recover nutrients but is not harvested. In Japan, many types of pickles are made with daikon roots, including takuan (沢庵) and bettarazuke (べったら漬). Daikon roots can be served raw, in salads, or as sashimi's tsuma (つま, accompaniment), which is prepared by meticulous katsura-muki (桂剥き, "katsura peeling"). Daikon-oroshi (大根おろし, grated daikon) is frequently used as a garnish, often mixed into various dippings such as ponzu, a soy sauce and citrus juice condiment. The pink spicy momiji-oroshi (もみじおろし, literally "autumn-leaf-red grated (daikon)") is daikon grated with chilli pepper. Simmered dishes are also popular such as oden. Daikon that has been shredded and dried (a common method of preserving food in Japan) is called kiriboshi-daikon (切干大根, "cut-dried daikon"). Daikon radish sprouts (kaiware-daikon (貝割れ大根, literally "open-clam-like daikon") are used raw for salad or garnishing sashimi. Daikon leaves are frequently eaten as a green vegetable. They are thorny when raw, so softening methods such as pickling and stir-frying are common.

Kanji: 大根
Kana: だいこん, だいこ
Romaji: daikon

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