Menu: Kiriboshi daikon, Cucumber/asparagus/chicken fillet salad, Pancetta & cheese omelet, and Shirasu rice (with nori seaweed laid out in between)
Apple wedges for dessert
Kiriboshi daikon. Yes, what is it? Let’s look at the formula…
Kiri（切り） = cut/sliced
Boshi（干し） = dried
Daikon（大根） = Japanese radish.
∴ Sliced dried Japanese radish.
To my embarrassment, this was my first attempt to cook kiriboshi daikon. I like my mum’s kiriboshi daikon very much, but never had an urge to make one myself. I used to think it was one of those side dishes that attracts no particular appreciation from anyone. It is always there on your dining table, very modestly, and you never really notice it.
But recently my perception has started to change. I always try to give my daughter healthy tasty food, and suddenly remembered a wise advice from my grandmother to eat kiriboshi daikon. In fact, I think it could be one of the healthiest dishes in the Japanese kitchen… To back up my statement, I did some quick research – apparently, it contains high dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, vitamin B and B2, much more than the fresh Japanese radish because it is dried in the sun: kiriboshi daikon contains 15 times more calcium, 32 times more iron, 10 times more vitamin B and B2 than regular daikon. So, there you go. Very nutritious. If I don’t cook, our daughter will not learn how it tastes like and never get an amazing set of nutrients this dish can provide. That is why I decided to go for it.
Now, this is how it looks like. Bought this pack at a local supermarket. Even if it may look a lot, it lasts quite a while since it is dried, so you can use it little by little.
We usually cook it after soaking it in water for a while, just like the way you cook sun dried tomatoes or porcini in Italian cuisine.
This is how it looks like after half an hour so. This should be enough soaking. Take it out of water and squeeze that water out, but leave the water in the bowl for later.
Pour in a dash of vegetable oil, and quickly stir fry it.
Once it’s heated, pour in the water you soaked kiriboshi daikon with (just the amount that covers the top of kiriboshi daikon, like shown below). Cook until it gets softer (nicely crunchy, rather than just hard and chewy), for 10 minutes or so. Add the soaking water if it dries up.
Add some sliced carrots and cook further until the carrots are soft, for another 7 minutes or so. Here also, add the soaking water a bit if it dries up.
Once soft, for this amount shown in the image, add a tea spoon of sake, 2 tea spoons of soysauce, and 1+ spoon of sugar to taste.
I forgot to buy it this time but you can also add thinly sliced “abura a-ge (油揚げ)“, deep fried sheets of tofu, after you add the carrots.