Takuan

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Appears in

Organum

By Peter Gilmore

Published 2014

  • About

Ingredients

  • 1 daikon (white radish), with greens attached
  • fine sea salt
  • 100 g ( oz) fresh rice bran
  • 20 ml (¾ fl oz) good-quality aged soy sauce
  • 20 ml (¾ fl oz) brown rice vinegar
  • 20 ml (¾ fl oz) high-quality mirin (rice wine)
  • 10 g ( oz) young ginger, very thinly sliced

Method

Wash the daikon but do not peel it. Tie a string around the greens of the daikon radish and hang in a well-ventilated sheltered area; for example, from the rafters of a covered balcony. The idea is to naturally dry the daikon for 10 days, ideally in spring with a temperature range of approximately 10–22°C (50–72°F). After 10 days the daikon should be very flexible and feel lighter. Make sure there are no signs of mould or insect infestation. Remove the green top from the daikon and discard. Peel off the skin with a sharp knife. Cut the daikon into 10 cm (4 inch) sections along its length. Weigh the daikon and calculate the required salt quantity at 4% of the weight of the daikon.

Put the salt and rice bran into a large bowl with the soy sauce, brown rice vinegar, mirin and ginger and mix well. Add the daikon pieces and massage the rice bran mixture into the daikon all over.

Place the daikon and rice bran mixture into a large cryovac bag. Seal with a vacuum machine on a medium setting.

Store the bag of daikon and pickling mixture in a cool, dark, dry place; ideally, a cellar environment or a cupboard in a cool corner of the kitchen. This pickle is traditionally pickled for around 6 months in Japan but for my purposes the pickle is perfect to use after about 10 weeks.