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Calling all cooks*!

Nikujaga is one of my absolute favorites. As a matter of fact, I made it the other night. They say nikujaga is an "all season" dish, but I think it's a really nice dish for Fall and Winter.

I'll have to try the squid and daikon nimono. I actually have squid now(which is usually very difficult to find where I live). I have plenty of daikon, because I grow my own.
you grow your own daikon? what a great idea. I would try but I have no garden...... :(

That squid and daikon nimono sounds great. I'm searching around the internet for meat & oil-less Japanese dishes. We eat aLOT of seafood hehe
Tonight I am making ni yasai udon with- as the title says- heaps of veges and I'll add some clams and perhaps some ebi.

Does anyone make there own pickles? I was given this GREAT book called "窶堋ゥ窶堙ア窶堋ス窶堙アナスティツ催ャ窶堙ィツ食窶「iツ"ツ and it has some great pickles recipes. Unfortunately my kanji sucks so I can't really read the recipes well hehe so hubby and I are going to make some of the recipes together. Actually it's really fun to cook together ;)
A confession

While we lived in Cambridge (MA, not UK), we discovered that somebody was growing tons of Daikon and shiso in the public park along the river. We scammed a LOT of their produce. Shameful, I know ... because we should have made some killer pickles with those 2 ingredients but never did. We just glutted ourselves on the fresh stuff. Sorry to whoever was growing them, but we hardly even put a dent in that crop.

Now I'm jealous of both of you: kirei_na_me because here in NYC it's tough to get access to SOIL; and nzueda because you obviously have a kitchen where you both can cook -- ours is strictly a "one-butt kitchen" if you catch my drift. Anyway, my wife is afraid to cook because the last time she did the 2-year old and I was playing a little too boisterously, and she knocked her noggin on a chair -- blood everywhere! Everyone survived happily, but now I'm the designated chef, which is generally okay.

On the nimono: watch out, it can get pretty hot! If you like hot food, you're fine. Otherwise, you might want to go easy on the peppers and REMOVE THE SEEDS FIRST. That makes a big difference.

Regarding oil-less cooking, there's always Mizutaki, another of my favorites. I think one of the best possible simple meals is shiozake with horensou-ohitashi. With really fresh, delicious rice. Since you do a lot of fish, you've probably done some variation of karei-no-nitsuke, but here's a link:

Re: A confession

yay Kov, thanks for the link. Yes, I've made that before but it's actually nice to see the ingredients written down. and there's some other yummy looking recipes on that site.
Actually you'd think our kitchen was a "one-butt" one but somehow we get away with it. ;) One day I'll post a photo of our rediculously small kitchen which even includes my tiny washing machine hehe
This is a great thread, I had to bring it back!!


I just read a post by you on 10/30/03, as which you might not remember, but you grow your own daikon? Are you still growing it?

Last week, I had a strong craving for a daikon & salmon stew that I used to have in Japan, wish to make it here, but daikon is rarely found at a supermarket where I live(in upstate NY).

I have no knowledge about vegitation or agriculture, can you give me some tips about what kind of soil & climate daikon requires?
Thanks for bringing it back, misa! 🙂

Fall is the ideal time to plant daikon, because the roots will grow the most when it's cool. You need to make sure that you cultivate the ground very deep or use raised beds. They will need at least two feet to reach a good size. I made the mistake of planting them in soil that was only cultivated to a depth of a foot, and they didn't get very big. Maybe only 8 inches long and an inch or inch and a half in diameter.
Fall? I disagree because Misa is in upstate NY and it gets cold there. The book "Oriental vegetables" by Joy Larkom gives a lot (maybe too much) information; but basically says that the soil should be light, rich and well-drained, that the autumn crop should be planted about 3 months before the killing frost, and that spring crop should either be planted after average temp. is 53, or start them indoors or under cover. There are also varieties which are slow to bolt (which is what happens to mine).
The book does say that when in doubt, sow in mid-summer for an autumn crop.
I think I need a simpler book.
Well, I've been told Fall, but since we're talking upstate NY, I guess Spring would be better?

Here's a nifty little guide for not just daikon, but all vegetables. You can click on the month and see what's in season:

An interesting site about Japanese seasonal foods:

Okay, while I was replying, Moto talked to obaa-san. Moto's maternal side has been farmers for generations upon generations. Anyway, obaa-san said plant before September 10. Cultivate 30cm deep, then make hills. Plant 3 or 4 seeds per hill and make hills 30cm apart. Thin the daikon as they grow and then pick the final(huge) daikon in Winter. Daikon is supposed to take a long time to grow. Also, isn't daikon known as the 'winter radish' anyway?

Of course, this is for around Gifu/Aichi area, so...
Some varieties are, yes; but a hard freeze kills. I'd say plant about 3 months before the average hard freeze-- so yes, before September 10. Here in central Ohio, I'd probably plant it in late July, maybe early August. In upstate NY, I think a fall crop would be the best.
Well, the Gifu/Aichi area has a climate about like ours(VA) or maybe a little to the north, even. I think peak season is supposed to be sometime in November? She did say to pull before it got "too cold", which translates to "before a hard freeze".

I've heard Spring/Summer daikon are less than ideal.
Thanks to both of you guys kirei_na_me and Haivart, and obaa-san!

In upstate NY, we have the avarage temprature of 50~55 in fall, it could get over 70 in September, but still it seems to me the fall is the ideal season to plant daikon seeds. I vaguely remembered that daikon was cold climate vegetable, but I wasn't sure.

I'll also check the sites you have listed for me, kirei. BTW, what kind of dish do you make w/ daikon, do you pickel it like Japanese takuan?
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