Chinese Radish, (Daikon)

Description - Chinese radish is a cruciferous root crop used mainly as a cooked vegetable. It can be eaten raw. Roots are large, often 2 to 4 inches in diameter and 6 to 20 inches long. Most of the commonly available Chinese radishes are white but some are yellowish or black.

Culture - Culture is similar to the common radish, except that daikon are bigger and need more room and more time to grow. A deep, loose, moist, fertile soil is required. Plant in late winter or early spring for spring and summer use and in July for fall harvest.

Availability - Chinese radishes are grown commercially in Texas, primarily near Houston in south Texas. Major production is in California. They can be found on the market 12 months out of the year, especially in areas having an Oriental population.

Selection - As with any root crop, look for Chinese radishes that are free of growth cracks and bruises. The roots should be firm and crisp.

Storage - Chinese radishes will keep well in the refrigerator if they are placed in a sealed container or plastic bag in order to maintain high humidity.

Nutrition Information - Daikon is very low in calories. A 3 ounce serving contains only 18 calories and provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.

Preparation - Use the daikon as you would a radish. It may be served raw in salads, pickled, or simmered in a soup.

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