Takuan: What is Pickled Daikon Radish?

What is Takuan?

Firstly Takuan it’s a type of daikon radish that has gone through pickling preparation. Furthermore this type of radish is very popular in traditional Japanese cuisine, especially for sushi, and in Korean cuisine

Besides that it is also eaten after each meal to help ease digestion. And it’s made by firstly hanging these radishes through a sun-drying process to be dehydrated. Following is the fermenting for the daikon radish which is done by salt and rice bran.

Hence giving the radish the delicate and soft texture. Which is very similar to a rare tenderloin beef steak but with an overall lingering sweetness.

Although you can find this type of pickled radish in your near Asian grocery store at a very cheap price. But you can just as easily make Takuan at home.

Furthermore it got this very delicious taste that is a mix of sweet, salty, and tarty taste. Though the light taste is a very great palette cleanser, I find it more soury than sweet.

Before you plan to use it you must first remove the excess brine with water. Then you can use it as an ingredient for making delicious sushi rolls or as a side dish or even as a snack for a Japanese bento.

How to Store Takuan?

Storing Takuan is very simple; however most people miss out the most important step of the storing process: Blanching. Which is a very important part of the storing process inorder to stop the daikon from losing its flavor, color and texture.

And branching is very quick and simple, all you need is to plunge it into boiling water for a short period of time of between 2 to 3 minutes. This simple boiling will be sufficient for preserving its crunchiness and taste.

Then you want to place the Takuan in cold water for cooling and drain it. Lastly you want to either wrap it in plastic and place it inside a tupperware to store in the fridge or in a big Ziploc bag.

Can You Freeze Takuan?

Contrastingly frozen radishes have a different texture than fresh radishes. Due to the water molecules in the daikon turning into ice crystals which as the radish thaws would become more softer than when it was raw.

Although you can freeze takuan, it is best that you cut them into smaller pieces before freezing them. Not only for better preserving the radish but also so that you don’t have to end up thawing the whole takuan later.

Furthermore if the radishes are not cut into tiny pieces it will create further textural defects. Since the harder outer skin will split open during the thawing process as the ice crystal melts.

How Long Does Takuan Last?

Firstly Japanese pickled daikon can last for a very long time depending on how they were fermented. Furthermore from my research it seems some fermenting process allows the radishes to last from six months to a year.

Although it can last for up to a year, it is found that after three months they lose much of their crunchiness and flavor. However their shelf life is dependent on the ingredient in the pickling liquid.

From personal experience, I found the best time is 3 weeks to a month. Even though daikon can last a very long time, you might not want it that long. Since it will lose most of its flavor and great texture.

Is Takuan Good For You?

Nonetheless Takuan is very good for you since it can fit into a variety of different health diets. Moreover research has found that daikon radish increases the amount of free fatty acids in the radish. And also increases beneficial niacin which is vitamin B3.

Moreover it has been long known that diakon has the ability to detoxify the body. Since it has the ability to keep the kidneys clean and help maintain proper functioning by removing excess toxins and fats.

Additionally it also is found to be able to boost the health of your immune system. Because it is a great source of vitamin C, which will stimulate further production of white blood cells hence increasing the healing process.

Most importantly, the reason Takuan is good for you is that it helps with weight loss and also improves your bone health. Due to it being a very rich source of calcium which is necessary for preventing the development of osteoporosis.

Is Takuan Gluten Free?

Lastly Takuan Is totally gluten-free since you can make it at home with all the ingredients that don’t contain any gluten.

And daikon by itself is a vegetable, so it is not gluten at all. Therefore don’t hesitate to add Takuan to the ideas for your cooking.

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