DAIKON RADISH
VIETNAMESE DAIKON & CARROT SALAD
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• 2 c. grated daikon radish

• 2 c. grated carrots

• ½ tsp. kosher salt

• ½ c. rice vinegar

• 4 tsp. sugar

• 1½ c. water

• 1 - 3 Tbsp. cilantro or mint, chopped just before serving (optional)

Serve this simple salad as a side dish, or add beans, nuts, rice, cabbage, or cucumbers to make it a meal. It can also be used to fill spring rolls. For a delicious twist, try drizzling your salad with warm sesame oil.

Toss grated daikon and carrot in a large bowl with the salt. Pour into a colander, and place in bowl to drain for a half hour. While you’re waiting, whisk the vinegar, sugar, and water together in a saucepan, and then bring to a boil. Remove promptly from heat, and pour into a large bowl to cool.

After half an hour has passed, lightly rinse the grated daikon-carrot mixture, and squeeze dry with a clean kitchen towel. Combine vegetables with the vinegar-sugar mixture. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least one hour. To serve, use a slotted spoon to lift the vegetables up out of the liquid, and garnish with chopped cilantro, or mint.

 
MISO SOUP
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• 12-ounce block firm silken tofu
• 2 quarts dashi (Japanese broth)
• ½ c. miso (if you have both, try 6 T. dark or red, and 2 T light or white)
• 2/3 c. daikon radish, sliced 1/8 in. thick, and cut into half or quarter moons
• 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and cut into quarters (optional)
• 2 T. dried wakame seaweed (if in a sheet, remove tough ribs and cut into 1-in. pieces) (optional)
• 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced thinly

Wrap the tofu block in an absorbent, clean kitchen towel and set on a plate. Turn another plate upside down over the tofu, and weigh it down with an extra large cookbook or a 28 oz. can. After 20 minutes, cut the tofu into cubes ¼ to ½ in. thick, and set aside.

In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, warm the dashi to 100 F. Pour 1 c. of dashi into a small bowl, making sure it is no warmer than 100F. Whisk in the miso, and set aside.

Continue to heat the 4-Quart saucepan of dashi. Add the daikon and mushrooms, and slowly simmer until both are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the wakame and simmer for another minute, then pour in the scallions and simmer for one more minute.

Allow the mixture to cool to 117F (this is to avoid killing the probiotics in the miso, and altering the flavor).  If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, then make sure it’s cool enough that you can comfortably hold your finger in the soup for five seconds. Whisk in the miso mixture, and serve immediately. Serves 8.