Ready for something simple yet elegant that can be used in many different settings? This simmered daikon with soboro is an authentic Japanese recipe that can be integrated into almost any meal as a side dish or starter. Easy to make, yet bursting with flavor and featuring a nice artistic symmetrical presentation, this dish could be the star of your table. Learn how to make it with our recipe and video right here. But don’t forget to check out the tips below for more background info and tips on how to get this dish just right.
What Is the Daikon Radish?
Literally meaning “big root,” the daikon radish is a popular part of Japanese food culture, and for good reason. Not only is the mild and crispy root vegetable a versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways, but it also packs some serious health benefits. Daikon is high in fiber and low in calories and cholesterol. It is also a source of vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus. Eaten either raw or cooked, the Daikon radish makes a healthy, immunity-boosting addition to any meal. In this traditional Japanese recipe, we are going to use the daikon as the main base of the dish. It’s a nutritious recipe that will win you praise from friends and family.
What Is Soboro?
Soboro is a seasoning made from ground meat that is usually added to rice or other starches in Japanese food culture. Chicken soboro is extremely popular, and people use it to create dishes like soboro don — ground chicken bento bowl. In this recipe, however, we are going to use chicken soboro to add protein and flavor to the daikon radish. Soboro can also be made from beef, veal, turkey, flaked fish or pork. But keep in mind that soboro should always be moist and tender, so avoid overcooking the meat.
All About Dashi Broth
Dashi broth makes up the base of many famous Japanese recipes including miso soup. It imparts a nice umami flavor to everything. And that is why we use it here in this recipe as well. Made from kombu (a kind of dried kelp) plus flaked bonito fish, dashi packs a lot of punch, so use it sparingly and to taste at all times. While we assume you will buy some ready-made dashi stock to make this dish, if you are adventurous you can also make dashi broth at home. Notice that we use dashi broth to cook both the daikon and the chicken soboro in this recipe, as it is the real umami hero that gives this dish such a great flavor.
- Daikon radish has tons of fiber around its skin. Thus, you should peel daikon radish thick (about 3-4mm, 0.1 inch) to remove those fibers. Otherwise, those areas will be very fibrous and tough even after cooking.
- Making a shallow cross-shaped cut on the surface of daikon radish is a key here. This step ensures dashi broth to soak into the vegetable. (This is part of the secret to the full flavor of this dish.)
Simmered Daikon with Soboro
- Daikon Radish (needs about 3 inches)
- ¼ lb Boneless Chicken Thigh, ground
- ½ Ginger, sliced
- Scallions, chopped
- ¼ cup Dashi Broth
- 1.5 cup Water
- 1.5 Tbsp Dashi Broth
- 1.5 Tbsp Mirin
- Remove the skin of daikon radish and cut it in half (1.5-inch thick each).
- On one side of daikon radish, make a shallow cross-shaped cut using a knife.
- Add “A” into a pot and add daikon radishes. Place a drop-lid and let it boil over low heat.
- Continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, add ground chicken, ginger, and B into a separate pot. Cook over medium heat until meat separates, mix well.
- Add scallions and cook for additional 1 minute.
- Place daikon radish and soup stock in a dish. Pour ground chicken on top of the radish.