Raphanus sativus or daikon radish is a winter root vegetable. The word daikon literally means large root. Daikon is a large white carrot shaped root that you may have seen in the market and wondered about. Daikon has a slightly sharp taste and a crisp texture when eaten raw. When cooked, it softens in texture and blends well with other ingredients. This was my Paleo Pen Pals assignment this month — to use daikon radish. Jessica, who blogs at Paleo Professional is my pen pal. I think she will like the soup!
Nutrition Profile for Daikon Root
While it looks pale and simple, daikon packs a good nutrition punch. It is high in vitamin C — a powerful anti-oxidant, folate, and B6 and has lots of minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. There are plenty of trace minerals such as selenium and manganese as well.
Radish, like other cruciferous vegetables in the Brassica family, contains sulforaphane, an anti-oxidant compound. Studies suggest that sulforaphane protects against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of its ability to inhibit cancer cell growth as well as the cytotoxic effect it has on cancer cells.
Radishes also contain many phytochemicals like indoles which are detoxifying agents and zea-xanthin, lutein and beta carotene, which are flavonoid antioxidants that protect against free radical damage.
In Asia, radishes of all kinds are eaten on a daily basis and considered very nutritious. They can grow in all seasons and they come in many sizes, colors and shapes. Daikon is grown in the winter, thus the white color. I love the flavor daikon gives to this nourishing and filling soup.
Asian Spiced Daikon Mushroom Soup
- 1 quart of chicken stock (how to make chicken stock)
- 2 medium daikon radish, peeled and sliced (about 2.5 cups)
- 1 large onion
- 8 ounces of mixed fresh mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 inch knob of ginger minced
- 1 scallion minced for garnish
- 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil and ghee (or butter) for sauteing the vegetables (where to buy olive oil) (how to make ghee)
- 3 – 4 quart pot
- Large fry pan (where to buy)
- Heat the chicken stock in the 3 – 4 quart pot
- Slice the onion and daikon into small pieces
- Clean and slice the mushrooms, discarding the stems
- Heat the olive oil and ghee in the fry pan
- Place the daikon and onion and in the pan and saute for 6 – 8 minutes until soft
- Add the garlic and ginger until fragrant
- Pour these vegetables right into the pot with the chicken stock reserving about 1/3 on a plate
- With the immersion blender blend the onions, garlic, ginger and daikon until smooth
- Add the mushrooms to the pan (with more fat) and saute until soft (another 5 – 6 minutes)
- Add the cooked mushrooms into the chicken stock as well as the onions and daikon you put aside
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Simmer for 12 – 15 minutes until all vegetables are very soft
- Garnish with chopped scallion and serve
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 3 – 4 servings