Sunday, 15 April 2012
My husband once had a crush on Alicia Silverstone. During his military service he spent long periods guarding supply stations with his comrades, watching Clueless over and over again. It’s an odd movie choice for a bunch of soldiers, but then again I suppose pretty girls in short skirts tick all the right boxes for bored, lonely boys.
What I hadn’t realised about Alicia Silverstone is that she’s a vegan and has written a cookbook called The Kind Diet. OK, so she “co-wrote” it with macrobiotic nutritionist Jessica Porter, but without Silverstone’s celebrity backing, utter dedication to veganism and regular recipe tweeting, I might never have discovered this amazing dish.
Boiled chucks of radish doesn’t sound like the most appetising meal, but it truly is fantastic.
The slabs of daikon soften, but they keep a toothsome texture and complex flavour that’s almost meaty. I defy omnivores not to raise their eyebrows in surprise at how wonderfully hearty such a simple vegetarian dish can be.
In order to meet one of my 2012 Food Challenges (cook with daikon), I adapted this recipe quite drastically, deciding to turn the braising liquid into a much richer concoction adding miso soup, rice vinegar and sesame.
Daikon braised in Miso & Mirin
Anna’s adaptation of a recipe from The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone. Serves 4 as side.
1 large daikon radish
20g red miso paste
60ml (¼ cup) mirin
40ml (2 tablespoons) light soy sauce
20ml (1 tablespoon) rice vinegar
20ml (1 tablespoon) white sugar
3cm x 5m piece dried kombu
5ml (1 teaspoon) sesame oil
1 tablespoon, toasted sesame seeds
1. Slice the daikon into 2cm-thick rounds
2. Place them in a large saucepan, or lidded pan, in a single layer
3. Add water almost to cover the daikon
4. Add the miso paste, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar and kombu
5. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce to very low, cover pan and simmer daikon for 30 minutes or until almost all liquid has been absorbed
6. Sprinkle braised daikon with sesame oil and sesame seeds