My mom used to make this dish - but at the time I wasn't a fan of daikon so I really didn't eat it. Naturally mom knew best and now I find myself making this dish - although it's really mostly out of curiosity about technique and the amazing flavor of the broth, more so than sudden love for the flavor of this particular vegetable.
Bonus - it's easy to make this dish vegan if need be, by substituting a soy broth for the dashi broth (dashi involves steeping dried fish in the soup base, so it's really just a matter of how strict you need to be.)
Stuff you'll need:
- Dashi stock - enough to cover the daikon slices (I used about 4-5 cups, click the link for the recipe)
- Soy sauce to taste - a couple of table spoons for the non-vegan version, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup for the vegan version
- Mirin - 2 - 3 table spoons
- Dried Shitake - again use dried here the fresh ones don't have the flavor or aroma
- Daikon - Japanese radish, looks like a massive white carrot on steroids
Peel the thin outer skin from the daikon, and slice into fat slices - I find just under an inch works for me. Using a pair of chopsticks for a guide, slice part way thru the slice creating an 'X' on the surface. This is both decorative and practical as it helps the simmering sauce penetrate the daikon slices.
Put the daikon and the dried mushrooms in a pot with the dashi stock add soy sauce and mirin to taste (I prefer to go light on the soy sauce as it results in more delicate flavors in the end) cover the pot, and bring to a boil, move the lid aside a bit to let steam escape, turn the heat down and simmer until the daikon are tender and start to become ever so slightly translucent.
The vegan substitute for dashi stock would be more soy sauce, and mirin - also adding a piece of thick konbu to the pot - the flavor will be similar to what you would get if you use dashi, but without the fish stock flavor.