Some of you may have noticed I’m a big fan of turning veggies into noodles. It’s a great low carb way to make a pasta to carry your sauce, or as a unique way to enjoy a familiar vegetable. You can do it with just about any vegetable that’s long and has enough fiber to hold up to a quick boil (asparagus, greenbeans, parsnip and carrots all work pretty well).
Daikon is a long (usually over 12″) white radish that’s commonly used in Japanese cuisine. When raw it makes for a crisp peppery salad while simmering will make it tender and sweet. Dried, it can be used to make pickles such as takuwan (it’s a bright yellow pickle), or it can be rehyrated and cooked to make a side dish. It has a mild aroma (which gets stronger when you dry it) that’s a little hard to describe in a pleasant way, but I’ve always thought it smells vaguely of gasoline.
The other day I was cooking with some truffle oil and was thinking that it too smelled a bit like some kind of petroleum product. The thought occurred to me that perhaps this European oil might go with the Asian radish. I know my description makes it sound kind of unappetizing, but if you like the way truffles smell, I think you’ll see how this works. To pair them, I turned the daikon into long noodles, boiled them in some dashi and tossed them with olive oil, a few dribbles of truffle oil and a lot of Parmigiano Reggiano.
I served this with some seared bay scallops with a pan sauce.
1 peeled and trimmed daikon radish
1 quart dashi
1/2 C grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Use a French mandoline to slice 2mm thick slices of daikon lengthwise (see right side of photo above). Then stack the slices 4 high and use a sharp knife to cut them into noodles, discarding the uneven end pieces. Soak them in cold water until you are ready to use them.
In a pot, add the dashi and some salt and bring to a boil. Drain the daikon and add to the boiling water. Cook until the daikon is no longer crunchy (but not soft). Drain thoroughly then toss with olive oil and the cheese. Add truffle oil and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.