Japanese “nashi” pear for dessert
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.
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.
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.