The Japanese giant white radish is commonly known as daikon, “dai” meaning large and “kon” meaning root. Daikon is radish or Japanese turnip is a popular root crop in Japan especially in winter.
I used to not like daikon in my early years in Japan but alas, everything is an acquired taste and have become one of my favorites later on. The husband loves it so I cook it often during winter in Japan. I saw a big daikon in the supermarket here in Dubai (even if it’s not winter!) a few days ago and remembered how he loved it and decided to cook this dish.
It has been a hit.
- 750 grams pork spare ribs
- 1 medium sized radish
- 2 Tbsp oil (I used 1 Tbsp sesame and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil)
- slices of ginger
For the sauce, mix together:
- 4 Tbsp Sugar
- 6 Tbsp Japanese Rice Wine for cooking
- 10 Tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1. Cut the spare ribs into bite sizes.
2. Wash, peel and slice the radish into rounds then to halves.
3. Slice the ginger.
4. Heat oil in fry pan, add ginger slices and braise the spare ribs until a bit brown. No need to cook through.
5. Add the sliced daikon.
6. Transfer into pressure cooker and add the sauce mix and water until just submerged.
7. Cover the pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes.
Note: If you don’t have pressure cooker, you can still simmer it the traditional way with a deep pot.
8. Turn off the fire and let the pressure cooker settle.
9. Open the cooker lid and check if the meat is already tender. If not, remove the daikon, close again and pressure cook for another 5 minutes. Removing the daikon while making the meat tender prevents it from becoming too soft and crumbling.
10. Just before serving, taste the soup. I added 1 Tbsp of soy sauce and 1 Tbsp of mirin just to add a little oomph. The final taste is totally up to you because I think as is, it already had that great mild taste.
The daikon will be more tasty the next day as it absorbs all the good flavors of the soup. The tender spare rib meat will make you melt.
UAE/Dubai residents can get various Japanese ingredients from the Japanese store, Dean’s Fujiya located near Lamcy Plaza in Bur Dubai. Telephone: 04-337-0401.