Mooli or daikon is a type of radish that can be eaten raw or cooked. This vegetable is widely consumed in Asia. Below are some mooli recipes to follow on how to cook the daikon radish at home!
It is often called white radish in English. The term stems from South East Asia. The term is used as a synonym for white radish due to Britain’s historical ties with the region.
In Japan, this type of radish is called daikon (大根), meaning ‘big root’. In China, white radish is known as bailuobo (白萝卜). It is the main ingredient used for the dim sum dish, turnip cake. Some other names include oriental radish, winter radish, lobak, and waemu.
What Does Mooli Taste Like?
Coming from the radish family, bailuobo is a long white crunchy vegetable. Mooli is a mild flavoured vegetable that has a sweet and crisp taste. The suggested portion size is 50-100 grams per person.
Where Is Daikon Radish From?
The oriental radish is one of the oldest vegetables on earth, along with peas and onions. In ancient China, people also called the vegetable hail burst or purple flower tincture. During a famine, Emperor Hanyang (132D-168AD) asked his people to grow the winter vegetable. On military expeditions, Zhuge Liang (181AD-234AD) also enlisted soldiers to grow the crop.
Although the vegetable is native to Asia, it is cultivated in various places and can be grown in the UK. This type of daikon takes up to 70 days to grow to a foot long. There are many varieties, such as green radishes, white radishes, and water radishes. The root can be eaten and is one of the main vegetables in China.
Health Benefits of Mooli
White daikon radish has many nutritional values. The winter radish has a very high water content, about 94%. It is low in calories and has high levels of dietary fibre, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid.
Daikon is a ”natural digestive agent.” It contains various digestive enzymes, which can break down starch and fat in food, promote food digestion, relieves chest tightness, and inhibit hyperacidity. It helps stomach peristalsis, promotes metabolism, and also detoxifies. This digestive enzyme is not resistant to heat, so white radish is suitable to eat raw.
5 Easy Mooli Recipes
The oriental radish or bailuobo can be consumed cooked or raw. Popular recipes to cook the winter vegetables come from Japan, China, and India. Here are some easy mooli recipes for cooking the mild-tasting oriental vegetable at home.
- Fried Daikon Balls
- Pickled Radish Salad
- Braised Potato and White Radish
- Pan-seared Daikon and Japanese Curry
- White Radish and Tofu Soup
Fried Daikon Balls
These white radish meatballs are great as a starter served with hot chilli or sriracha sauce. You can also serve these with soy sauce as a main with steamed rice or adding them to a vegetable soup.
You can add minced pork or beef to the mixture and use chicken stock powder instead of vegetable stock in the ingredients. If you have more time to prepare, use fresh ginger, garlic, and onion instead of dehydrated powder. In addition, add chilli flakes for a flavour punch.
Fried Daikon Balls
- 400 g white radish
- 2 eggs
- 100 g flour
- 1 tsp vegetable stock
- 1 tsp garlic powder can use 2 shallots of garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste or use few slices of chopped ginger
- 1 tsp onion powder can use ½ onion
- Shred and drain the white radish. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin. Shred the white radish with a grater. Add salt and let the excess water drain out. Alternatively, use a towel to squeeze out the excess water.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Add in the eggs, flour, pinch of salt and pepper, onion, as well as vegetable stock into a large bowl. Mix well.
- Make into ball shapes. With the mixture, make small ball shapes. The smaller the balls, the faster these will cook later.
- Fry in medium heat. Add cooking oil to a pan and heat to medium heat. Add the ball mixture and fry until golden brown.
- Serve with sauce. Serve with desired sauce as a starter or as a main with rice and soy sauce.
Pickled Daikon Radish Salad
There are many versions of the white radish salads. The most popular mooli salad recipes come from Japan and Korea. Pickled radish salads are great during the hot summer season. You can serve this as a starter or a refreshing snack. Similarly, make a larger portion to go alongside grilled meats and serve as a main.
To make a simple Vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon radish salad, peel and chop the 2 carrots and 1 medium-sized daikon.
- Place the carrots and daikon radishes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Using your hands, toss the carrots and daikon with the salt and sugar until well coated.
- Transfer the chopped vegetables into a large colander, rinse with cool water and drain well.
- In another bowl, mix together 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1 cup of warm water. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
- Finally, pour vinegar mixture over carrots and daikon in a jar and ensure that the mixture covers vegetables. Make sure to pack the chopped daikon and carrots tightly into the jars. Seal and refrigerate the jar. Let the pickles sit overnight for a better flavour. The cold Viet dish of pickled salad should last 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.
Braised Potatoes and Mooli Recipe
A good warming meal for the cold rainy days. Add pork or lean beef to the recipe for extra protein.
- Heat a medium-size pot over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add chopped green onion and 1 teaspoon ginger. Let this cook for a minute.
- Add 2 teaspoons of doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste) and diced mooli radish. Stir to mix well.
- Add 2 cups of vegetable stocks, soy sauce (1 tbsp), sugar (1tbsp), and a pinch of five-spice powder. Cook over medium-high heat until brought to a boil. Turn to medium-low heat. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Serve with steamed rice or by itself.
Pan-seared Daikon and Japanese Curry
This is a recipe based on another dish our editors tried in a small cafe in Hokkaido, Japan. The owners of the cafe serve traditional homemade Japanese food to commuters. An easy recipe for a quick meal at home.
For this dish, you’ll need daikon, potatoes, carrots, onions as well as your favourite Japanese curry roux. We like to use S&B Golden Katsu Curry Sauce Mix but you can use a milder or hotter curry roux if you like. You can find Japanese curry roux in most supermarkets and a larger variety in Asian grocery stores.
- Start off by chopping the daikon, carrots, and potatoes into medium-sized cubes. Cook the oriental radish with oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes or until light brown and set aside for later.
- In the same saucepan, stir-fry the sliced onions with oil on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until ingredients are tender, approximately 15 min.
- Turn the heat off, break S & B Golden Curry Mix into pieces and add them to the saucepan. Stir the mixture until all the curry roux pieces completely dissolve. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
White Radish and Tofu Soup
Make a delicious soul-warming soup with the winter vegetable! To start, dice the peeled radish and semi-firm tofu. Secondly, add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable stock into a pot. Thirdly, add half an onion, 3 slices of ginger and a stalk of green onion. Let this simmer for 10 minutes before adding in the daikon and tofu. After the radish turns translucent, serve the soup with spring onions on top.
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