At my local farmer’s market, there is stand dedicated to Asian produce. I’ve found some interesting vegetables there, and the other week I saw what looked like ginormous white carrots (reminiscent of Bunnicula, the vampire rabbit who sucks the juice out of vegetables). It turned out to be daikon.
Daikon literally means “large root” in Japanese, which is pretty accurate. It has a flavor similar to smaller radishes, but is slightly sweet. It’s pretty low in calories and has a high Vitamin C content.
Looking for inspiration, I found that daikon is used in a dim sum dish called turnip cake. You know how much I love baking, so I got really excited. Turns out it’s actually a savory dish of course, a pan fried cake of shredded daikon with dried shrimp, mushrooms and Chinese sausage. While that sounds good, Russ and I wanted to do something original, as we typically do for Kitchen Adventures. The end result was a latke make of shredded daikon and potato. The Chinese five spice we added gives the latkes a deliciously savory and sweet flavor.
- 2 large daikons
- 6 white potatoes
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 1 egg
- 1/3 C breadcrumbs (we used panko)
- 1 t Chinese five spice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Olive oil
Grate daikons and potatoes. Place grated pieces into a clean, dry towel and twist and squeeze out moisture over the sink. Keep squeezing and twisting the towel until no more liquid comes out. Place dry gratings into a large bowl.
Sliver the green part of the green onions and reserve for garnish. Chop the white part of the green onions and add to the bowl of daikon and potatoes, along with the egg, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Thoroughly mix together with your hands, then form flattened balls (these can be any size you want, just make sure they are all uniform in size so they cook evenly).
Fill a large sauce pan 1/4″ deep with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot (when a piece of bread browns in 10 seconds, it’s ready). Carefully place the latkes into the pan, leaving a couple of inches in between them. Turn them after 7-10 minutes, or when browned on the bottom. Cook another 7-10 minutes, or until both sides are browned. Garnish with green onion slivers and serve with sour cream or applesauce.