Yuzu Daikon is pickled Daikon radish with Yuzu citrus. This sweet and sour pickle dish has the refreshing taste of Yuzu citrus and a crunchy texture you will enjoy. Yuzu Daikon may be quite easy to make for Japanese Tsukemono (pickled vegetables), but it is very tasty. It is also good in the fridge up to a week to 10 days, so it comes in handy when you need just a little something for a meal.
Yuzu is Japanese citrus that is between a lemon and an orange, but it has a fragrance of its own and an original flavor. Yuzu is not really edible by itself as a fruit since it contains surprisingly many seeds. The juice is very sour just like a lemon, so it is used as an accent to a dish or in sauces. However, it’s the peel where the nice aroma comes across, and you don’t want to miss that. Slice only a thin layer of the skin (without pith) and make thin strips. Not only it’s wonderful aroma, but a nice yellow color decorates well on dishes. The time in winter when Yuzu comes in season is also the time a lot of people eat Nabemono, or hot pot dishes, in Japan. Yuzu juice is often used in dipping sauces for Nabemono, and that is not a coincidence. Also, when the fruit is in the most abundant supply around the winter solstice, people will put a bunch of whole Yuzu in bath tubs, and then take a Yuzu bath as part of winter’s traditions. It may be hard to do this in the US, where Yuzu are more scarce and expensive. (Don’t worry, using one Yuzu for your food will not break your bank.)
Daikon radish is cut into small stick shapes here, but it also can be cut into quarter rounds like fan shapes. Cutting a little thicker (1/2″ or 1 cm thick) is the key for the crunch. If you cannot find Yuzu unfortunately or it’s out of season, you can use lemon instead. It of course has a different flavor, but it is still good. The window of Yuzu season is very small, so try this when you can!
- 1 pound Daikon
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Yuzu (or substitute with 1/2 lemon)
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- Peel Daikon and cut into sticks, 1 1/2 inches long, 1/2 inch wide. Put in a large bowl and coat with 1 tsp salt. Let it sit for 1 hour to release water.
- Peel the skin of Yuzu (without the white part) and cut thinly. Squeeze juice into another bowl and add the skin, remaining salt, rice vinegar, and sugar. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.
- Lightly squeeze the water out of Daikon and mix with Yuzu and vinegar mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.