Breakfast is my favorite time of the day. Time when all our family members sit together and welcoming the day. For our kids I made two different dishes as their food preferences are differ. I don’t mind. Moreover I think this is the way how it should be – when we are listening to our body and soul and give them exactly what they want. Kids are perfect in this (certainly if we, as parents, behave responsibly from the beginning and educate our kids about healthy choice by our own example). So first I prepare the food for kids, and then – for us.
Breakfast it is also a time when we eat bread. It becomes a tradition to have some type of savory sandwich in the morning. Every day different, depending of what products are currently in the fridge. However I always trying to have in our pantry sesame and pumpkin seeds, nuts and some “strange” Japanese spice mixtures (Furikake: sesame mixed with spices and seaweed).
Sandwiches can be vegan, vegetarian, with fish or with meat – we always trying to listen our needs. Once a week I have a strong wish to eat an egg, and I eat it (even though I have food intolerance to the egg whites). Sometimes I dream about coconut oat porridge with cacao and dates, and I cook it (even though I have to make a separate dish for my husband as he doesn’t like sweet stuff in the morning. Quit rare but happens we ate all the same dish, like Kaiserschmarrn (I love it!) or crepes. But this is OK, while it is balanced and bring to us happiness.
Today’s breakfast not only tasty and healthy, but it even looks very happy. So colorful and fresh. I prefer adding pickled daikon (or Takuan) to any dish with fresh vegetables. It taste amazingly with fresh tomatoes bringing to the dish some exotic flavors alongside with crunchiness and sweetness. Yumminess in every bite. I like mixing basic ingredients with something that many people even never heard about – but this is how I expand my taste memory and enrich my food dictionary (by discovering new ingredients and new flavors).
Have you heard anything about it? Daikon (“big root”) is a long white Japanese radish, which has a crunchy texture and a light peppery and sweet taste.
It goes by many names, like Asian radish, Chinese radish, white radish, etc as there are different varieties of daikon being cultivated in the different regions. Known as a cruciferous vegetable related to brocolli, kale and cabbage, the daikon radish is said to have origins in the Mediterranean. After it spread to Asia, it became a highly valued ingredient.
Even though it is winter vegetable (its best season is from November till December), you can find Japanese daikon almost in every Asian supermarket and grocery all year round.
It can be eaten raw, or cooked in several methods. When served raw, it’s mild and tangy in taste, with crispy and juicy texture. When cooked, it has a concentrated sweet flavor similar to cooked turnips. Many people in Japan make tea by mixing small pieces of daikon with shiitake mushrooms and seaweed (kombu).Then drink it to reduce fever and fight infection. Another old remedy in Japan advises 1 tbsp of grated daikon mix with a small amount of soy sauce – this helps to clean the body system of fat excess and animal protein. Broth made from daikon and seaweed remove dairy buildup.
Daikon can be slow cooked, fried and pickled.
Takuan (沢庵), also known as takuwan or takuan-zuke, is a popular traditional Japanese pickle made from daikon radish, mainly served at the end of meals as it is thought to aid digestion.
Takuan is made by first hanging a daikon radish in the sun for a few weeks until it becomes flexible. Next, the daikon is placed in a pickling crock and covered with a mix of salt, rice bran, optionally sugar, daikon greens, kombu/dry seaweed, and optionally with chilli pepper and/or dried persimmon peels/even flowers for coloring. Then is is covered by the weight and the daikon has to pickle for several months. The ready takuan is usually yellow in color, however mostly in mass-production for food colorants are responsible for this effect of pickled takuan. It taste sweet and mild, and not sugar-free.
Takuan can be bought in Japanese supermarkets in vacuum packages. Its shelf life is for about 2 months, but the best taste is within a month. Once the vacuum package is opened the takuan can be place in a glass box covered with lid and store in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks. It also could be cut and frozen inside a ziploc bags.
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