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Daikon Radish

By Billa

I learned to love daikon radish from my Mom, who discovered it one day in the supermarket when she was well into her 80’s. At the time, she and I would have lunch together at her house five days a week, Monday through Friday. She incorporated the radish into a couple of the lunch dishes that she liked to prepare for us.  

One was an Israeli salad. Originally, she used to make it by finely dicing cucumbers, tomatoes, and green peppers. Then she’d add in some sliced scallions. The salad was dressed with equal amounts of olive oil and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. The first time she added grated daikon radish to the mix was a revelation. The salad became tangier, more refreshing, and more complex. After that, she never wanted to make that salad without the grated radish.

A second lunch dish that she liked to make was one that I suspect she must have eaten as a child in Poland. It was simply farmer cheese mixed with a little sour cream to which she sometimes added sliced scallion. It was seasoned with salt, pepper, and lots of paprika.

When she added grated daikon radish, the resulting dish reminded me of tzatziki, a Greek yogurt dip. Both are smooth, tangy mixtures. And the radish contributed a crisp textural element, which in tzatziki is produced by shredded cucumber.

These days, when I can find daikon radish, I still make those two dishes (subbing cottage cheese for farmer cheese, which is hard to find). But I also like to make a salad where daikon radish is the star. It is a very lemony, zesty and refreshing salad. Here is the recipe:

Daikon Radish Salad

Serves 2


2 cups grated daikon radish 

1 cup grated carrot

1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together radish, carrots, olives, scallions, and parsley.

  2. Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables in the bowl. Toss and serve.


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Thank you for these recipes daikon radish is delicious refreshing and does not bite you like horseradish!


A beautiful reminder of days gone by and a tangible way of preserving and passing on a healthy and delicious discovery.

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