Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tantalizing Takuan

Takuan is a super food that is unique and especially good for strengthening the digestive system and boosting immunity. It is made from the white, daikon radish. Daikon literally means big root. The natural pickling process of takuan uses rice bran and the radish is actually pickled whole. If it is successful, takuan can last for months. I have one for at least 6 months now and it is still marvelous in flavor and texture.

Takuan seen here with the rice bran coating

The name Takuan comes from Takuan Soho, a famous Japanese priest. He was born in 1573 and began his religious studies at the age of 8. Takuan soon become known for his strength of character and wit. He was able to apply Zen principles to many activities including gardening, painting, calligraphy, poetry and writing. He was also a master of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Priest Takuan invented the pickled daikon radish to help digest grains and other foods and was served at the end of the meal. It was thus named in his honor.

Takuan pickles are mineral rich and very high in vitamin C, potassium, and phosphurus. They are packed full of enzymes that are cleansing and help the smooth function of the digestive tract. Takuan are also anti-inflammatory, strengthen the bones, stimulate weight loss and are good for cancer prevention.

Takuan are usually prepared in the fall when the weather begins to cool in Japan. Whole daikon are hung in rows to dry in the sun. When dry, they are placed in a rice bran mix and aged for at least two to three months, although it can be for much longer.

An interesting side note is that radishes most likely originated in the Mediterranean region and reached Japan in the 3rd and 4th century.

Takuan can be added to salads, vegetable dishes or served alone. It is really worth including in your repertoire as the benefits are amazing. 

Finely sliced takuan tastes delicious

Here is a simple recipe to get you started with this wonderful food.

Wakame Salad with Cucumber and Takuan

1 small cucumber peeled (optional) and finely sliced
2 tablespoons wakame flakes rinsed and soaked for 5 minutes or until soft
wakame soaking

3 inch piece of takuan finely sliced 
pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Place the cucumber, wakame, and takuan into a bowl.
Add the sea salt and mix gently. Leave to marinate for 10-15 minutes
Add the brown rice vinegar, orange juice and toasted sesame seeds.
Mix gently and serve.

Enjoy! Love Chef Mel xx

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing such beautiful information with us. I hope you will share some more information about radish. Please keep sharing.
    Daikon Radish Leaves Benefits For Health