Daïkon: benefits, how to cook it?

Daïkon: benefits, how to cook it?

The daikon, also called Japanese radish, giant radish or Chinese turnip, deserves to be known. It has great nutritional qualities and many benefits for our health. To be consumed (almost) without moderation, discover this root vegetable from Asia.

Daikon: is it a radish or a Chinese turnip?

“No daikon rather belongs to the radish familyspecifies Alexandra Murcier, dietitian-nutritionist. It is a vegetable that comes to us from Asia, particularly Japan.. The daikonresulting in “big root” in Japanese, is one of the root vegetables, such as carrots, celeriac or beets and belongs to the Brassicaceae family.

Several varieties of Japanese radish exist. THE daikon has a large white root, sometimes reaching up to 30 cm long. This vegetable will bring a touch of exoticism to your dishes, in addition to providing many benefits to the body.

The nutritional and caloric values ​​of daikon

The Japanese radish is very low in calories, so it is a dietary ally. Daikon contains vitamins and nutrients essential for the proper metabolic functioning of the human body. For 100 grams of daikon:

  • Calories : 29 kcal ;
  • Lipides : 0,1 g ;
  • Water: 94.6 g;
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g;
  • Calcium : 27 g.

“Daikon is not very rich in fiber or protein. It contains only 1.2 grams of dietary fiber (per 100 g of radishes) and 0.6 g of protein, explains our nutrition expert. On the other hand, it is hydrating, since it is essentially made up of water.”

What does daikon taste like?

Daikon has a mild flavor. “Japanese radish is less spicy than pink radish or black radish., adds Alexandre Murcier. In terms of its consistency, it is very similar to carrots. The giant radish has nothing to do with the pink radishes that we enjoy in Europe as an aperitif. This Asian vegetable offers a refined flavor and a texture that is as crunchy as it is juicy.

Where does it grow?

The giant turnip is native to Asia, whose harvest tends to take place in autumn. This variety of root vegetable likes aerated and draining soil. The soil must also be loosened so that the roots of the daikon can develop in the space. He likes sunny soil.

The daikon can be grown in your vegetable garden, offering an original asset to the garden and whose sowing is carried out in the ground between the month of June and the month of September. There is an insect capable of attacking the foliage of white radish; These are flea beetles. Flea beetles are vegetable pests. This can be remedied by setting flea beetle traps or using natural remedies such as garlic decoctions and wormwood leaves. Regular watering is recommended. Harvest can take place 7 to 8 weeks after sowing.

What are the benefits of daikon?

Giant radish has many beneficial health effects. “It is low in calories and filling, perfect for people who pay attention to their weight, points out our nutrition expert. It is a good source of vitamin C and antioxidant compounds, in addition to bringing a touch of exoticism and originality to our dishes.”.

Low in calories

The Chinese turnip contains very few calories and fat. This vegetable brings lightness to your plate, and is easily integrated into light and dietary recipes. This 30 cm long vegetable has a satiating effect, which is why it helps to avoid snacking and contributes to weight loss, as part of a varied and balanced diet and the practice of physical activity and athletic. If you have a craving, daikon is an ideal snack thanks to its low calorie content.

Rich in water and dietary fiber

As seen previously, the Japanese radish is full of water, which will contribute to the proper functioning of intestinal transit, by accelerating the metabolism of the digestive system. Thanks to its water content, it has draining and diuretic effects, helping to prevent bloating.

Source of vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the immune system and thus allows the body to better defend itself against pathogens and external attacks. Vitamin C also participates in the formation of collagen fibers, an essential component of our cells. It improves iron absorption, intervenes in the transmission of the nervous system and protects cells from oxidative stress.

A vegetable rich in antioxidants

The daikon is rich in antioxidants, which are substances that fight against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, caused by poor lifestyle, stress or even atmospheric pollution can cause cellular damage. Furthermore, oxidative stress can be responsible for the premature aging of cells and therefore of the body. Thus, early aging favors the appearance of diseases. Antioxidants play the role of protective shields and thus contribute to the preservation of our health capital.

How to choose the right daikon? Where to buy it?

The flesh of this root vegetable must be very white, even translucent with smooth skin. It must be very firm, without stain and can measure up to 30 cm long. THE daikon is generally found on the shelves of organic or specialized stores from the fall, sometimes in certain supermarkets. Otherwise, you will easily find it in Asian grocery stores.

Conservation of Japanese white radish

The daikon Keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. It can also be cut up and frozen raw in the freezer. The vegetable can also be stored in the cellar or in a cool place, without its tops and between two layers of sand.

How to consume Chinese radish?

Raw or cooked?

The daikon has the particularity of being eaten raw or cooked. Its flesh is juicy and when eaten raw, its taste is refreshing.

Recipe ideas: daikon in salad, fries, marinated

The white radish can be eaten raw in salads such as pink radish salad for example. Cut into thin strips, it adds crunch to your salad, as well as a touch of exoticism to your taste buds.

It is also very popular in kimchi, in fermented form. “The vegetable is marinated Korean style, with onion, ginger, rice flour, fish sauce or even chili peppers.describes our dietitian.

Daikon is very popular at aperitif time, for a dietary taste awakening. Cut into sticks, it can be dipped in a light sauce with aromatic herbs. It is also known in its aperitif version in the form of pickles. The vegetables are marinated in vinegar and then spread on grilled toast.

The Chinese turnip can easily be integrated with other vegetables to make a soup. It brings sweetness to soups. Its plus: the tops can also be eaten, for an anti-waste action.

Finally, we also enjoy it as a gratin to complement potatoes, in oven fries, or even as sprouted seeds, which are real nutritional bombs!