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Takuan is a pickled Daikon Radish, a giant white radish sometimes known in the West under its Indian name, mooli, is an extremely healthy and versatile food, and one of the quintessential vegetables in the Japanese diet.
Daikon means great root in Japanese, which is an appropriate description; shaped like a carrot but much larger,
Takuan can be eaten both raw in salads and so forth, or incorporated in a whole host of hot meals, such as hotpots and simmered dishes aswell as in your bento box. Daikon pickled in rice bran, known as takuan after the Buddhist priest who invented it, is one of the traditional and popular Japanese pickles. Crunchy and flavoursome, takuan is mostly found served in slices alongside miso soup and rice. Daikon oroshi, or grated daikon, is another Japanese staple; a much-loved side dish, it is often served as an accompaniment, with a drop of tamari, to tempura and grilled dishes.
Not only is daikon a delicious source of Vitamin C, calcium and iron; it is also known as a specific aid in the digestion of oily foods. It has been shown that the enzymes contained in the vegetable, such as diastase, help to dissolve accumulated fat and mucus deposits. It is little wonder, then, that it is so often found alongside oily foods when they occur in the Japanese diet and has been an integral part of Japanese folk medicine for so long.
Slice the takuan and roll into sushi rolls to make what is sometimes called Oshinko Maki. Perfect for Vegetarian sushi lovers.
Takuan is popular also in South Korea