Japanese pickled Daikon is called ‘Takuan’. My mother used to pickle Daikon in a huge bucket-like container every year. She would hang Daikon in the sun for a few weeks until dehydrated and wilted, then pickle them with a mixture of Salt, Rice Bran, Kombu (Kelp), and some Citrus Peels. She probably added ‘Kuchinashi’ (Cape Jasmine) Seeds for yellow colouring. I don’t think she added Sugar because her ‘Takuan’ were not sweet at all. I prefer slightly sweet ones.
Store-bought ‘Takuan’ is made with artificial colour, sweeteners and preservatives. When I want to eat ‘Takuan’, I make a small batch. This is my easy method, and I use a ziplock bag that can be used repeatedly.
1 medium Daikon *about 500g after peeled
2 tablespoon Water
1 pinch Saffron Threads *OR 1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric if you don’t mind its smell
1 tablespoon Salt *3% weight of Daikon
3-4 tablespoons Sugar *10% weight of Daikon
2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar *5% weight of Daikon
5cm Kombu (Kelp)
- Peel Daikon and cut into the length that fits into the bag. Cut in half lengthways if thick. Place them on a tray lined with a tea towel and leave them under the sun for 2-3 days or until wilted.
- Combine Water and Saffron Threads in a small bowl and set aside until the Water turned yellow. *Note: Ground Turmeric can be used, but colouring is optional.
- Place everything in a ziplock bag, rub and combine well, then remove the air. Leave the bag in the fridge for at least 7 days. Change the position occasionally.
- *Note: Pickled Vegetables are salty as the salt is necessary to preserve them. If you concern the amount of salt in ‘Takuan’, soak the sliced ‘Takuan’ in enough water with some Sugar and Vinegar before you eat, so that you can reduce the salt.