Daikon radish (Raphanus sativus) is a winter root vegetable. The word daikon literally means large root. This Asian Spiced Daikon Mushroom Soup is huge!
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.
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.
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