I have a love of Japanese Pickles and I buy them often at my local favorite grocery store - Uwajimaya. One of the Pickles that I enjoy is Tukuan - a bright yellow Daikon Radish Pickle that is very sweet. I decided to make it at home so I could make it a bit less sweet and then suddenly ended up making a slightly different version by adding Tamari instead of Turmeric and I ended up loving the result! As you can see from the photo, the Daikon Radish slices start showing their beautiful flower design after they soak up the brine and I just love how beautiful the Pickle Slices are! Next time, I will go ahead and add the Turmeric instead to make the more traditional Pickle that is often found in Sushi and you can use this same recipe, leaving out the Gluten Free Soy Sauce, adding a bit more Salt and adding a teaspoon of Turmeric. I'm giving the option to make a tangier Pickle by using less Sugar or a sweeter Pickle, using more. I went right down the middle. It's important to start with a little Salt and Sugar to draw out the juices of the Daikon to make a more crisp Pickle and then make the sauce to go with it and add it later. I was so happy with the results of this experiment and I will be making these all the time now!
Daikon Radish Pickle with Japanese Flavors
1 pound of Daikon (as thin as you can find) peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
Place the Daikon Radish slices in a bowl and sprinkle on the Salt and Sugar. Toss to coat the slices and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Drain the accumulated liquid.
1 Tablespoon Tamari
1 Tablespoon Mirin
2 - 3 teaspoons Sugar
In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients. Pour over the drained Daikon Radish slices and mix to combine. Let marinate for at least one hour up to several days.
Note: To make Takuan: substitute 1/2 teaspoon Salt for the Tamari and add in 1 teaspoon of Turmeric and use all of the Sugar.
Five Element Analysis
Daikon Radish is white and pungent, which makes it part of the Metal Element. The Salt and Tamari bring in the Water Element and the Sugar adds the Earth Element - if you use Turmeric, you add even more Earth. The Mirin is a combination of the Fire Element and the Earth Element since it is sweet Rice Wine. A meal where these Pickles are served needs to have more Fire and Wood foods to create balance.