Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon is a delicious side dish made from rehydrated strips of daikon radish simmered in a sweet and salty Japanese broth with other various ingredients. It's easy to make ahead of time and can be enjoyed hot or cold!
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What is simmered kiriboshi daikon?
Kiriboshi Daikon no Nimono (切り干し大根の煮物) is a side dish made with rehydrated strips of daikon radish simmered in a Japanese broth with carrots, shiitake mushrooms and satsuma-age (fried fish cake) or aburaage (twice fried tofu).
The taste is usually a little sweet with a touch of dashi so that it goes well with any rice dishes. It's one of the most popular side dishes at home in Japan.
Kiriboshi daikon is an ingredient up of daikon radish that has been cut into thin strips and dried. You can find it in Japanese or Asian supermarkets, it might also be labeled as "dried radish". Kiriboshi daikon is also used in South Korean and Chinese cooking.
In Western Japan, it is also called "sengiri daikon" (繊切り大根). Sengiri is the Japanese word for "julienne" and julienned ingredients are usually 1-2mm thick.
Before it can be used, kiriboshi daikon is washed and then lightly soaked in water to soften and rehydrate it.
It can be eaten as it is with soy sauce or vinegar, or used in simmered dishes.
How to use kiriboshi daikon
As it's a dried product, you will need to go through some process to be able to use it as an ingredient. Here are the steps:
- Wash it well to remove any dirt. Discard the water two or three times and keep rinsing.
- Soak in cold water for 15 mins.
- Drain the water or use it as a broth.
- Cut according to your preference.
Satsuma-age / Aburaage
Simmered kiriboshi daikon is usually made with either satsuma-age or aburaage. Both of these are special Japanese ingredients that might be difficult to find outside of Japan so it's okay to omit them. However if you have access to a Japanese supermarket, be sure to have a look for them as they add a great taste and texture to the dish!
Satsuma-age is a type of fried fishcake made with fish paste mixed with flour, vegetables and spices. They are commonly used in dishes such as "oden" (Japanese winter stew), nimono (simmered dishes) or udon noodles.
They come in all different shapes, sizes and colours too!
Aburaage is a type of twice fried tofu and I recommend using it if you want to make a vegetarian version.
The tofu is first fried at a low temperature, then again at a higher temperature creating a fluffy golden pouch. You might have seen it used in "inari-zushi" (sweet tofu pouch stuffed with rice), miso soup or Kitsune udon.
If possible, try to make your simmered kiriboshi daikon with one of these ingredients, you won't regret it!
Tips and tricks to make an amazing simmered kiriboshi daikon at home
Simmered kiriboshi daikon may seem simple, but if you use some simple tricks, the flavor will be beyond exceptional! So here, I will list 3 simple tips and tricks you can use at home for the dish.
Use kiriboshi daikon's liquid as a broth
There's no need to make dashi for this recipe! When you soak kiriboshi daikon in cold water, there's gonna be a daikon flavoured broth left over. You don't have to throw this away!
This kiriboshi-daikon soup stock is sometimes used as "vegetarian soup stock" at temples. It's really a waste to throw it away. It's packed with umami so there's no reason not to use it!
So in my recipe, I use this as a broth.
Fry in oil and then simmer in broth
Frying the ingredients in oil first will improve the texture, and then simmering will give it a richer flavour.
That's why I recommend frying first and simmering after.
Cool it down well once it's done
If you leave the simmered kiriboshi daikon to cool down, the flavours soak deeper into the ingredients and create a better flavour. This technique can be used in many Japanese simmered dishes.
You can see the same technique in my nikujaga recipe as well.
Leftover kiriboshi daikon can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
It can also be frozen for up to 3 weeks. Frozen leftovers should be divided into portions, wrapped with plastic wrap and then stored in an airtight container like a lunchbox or ziplock bag.
The dish itself can be enjoyed hot or cold so it's up to you whether you want to reheat it or not.
Step by step recipe