Daikon radish is widely used in Japanese, Indian and Asian cuisines. It is commonly used in soup and the popular korean dish kimchi.
However, there are instances you cannot use daikon radish in your recipes where you cannot find them in supermarkets or do not like the taste. Daikon is also seasonal and not available all year round.
The best recourse is to find alternatives if you encounter these problems. Here are a few substitutes for daikon radish you can consider.
- Red Radish
- White Icicle Radish
- Cherry Belle Radish
- French Breakfast Radish
- Korean Radish (Mu)
- Bartender Mammoth Radish
- Watermelon Radish
Among the ethnic cuisines, Japanese food has grown in popularity in the United States after Chinese, Italian, and Mexican cuisines.
In fact, according to an analysis, the number of Japanese restaurants in the US has grown by an average of 4.9% since 2017.
One of the most favorite Japanese dishes enjoyed by many is Daikon Fukumeni or Simmered Daikon.
First, let us tell you more about this crunchy, tangy root vegetable and its health benefits.
17 Best Substitute for Daikon Radish
Daikon or Winter Radish is a root vegetable from the mustard and cabbage family; it comes primarily in white color, while other varieties come in green, purple, and red colors.
It looks like a large-size white carrot with a subtle, sweet, slightly spicy, yet mild flavor but tones down once cooked. Daikon radish has a crunchy texture when raw that turns tender and soft when cooked.
Daikon has several varieties, including KN-Bravo, Alpine, and Shunkyo, which have their own unique taste, shape, and color. The versatile radish is native to Asia, but is grown worldwide.
It is an excellent source of nutrients that includes magnesium, calcium, copper, and potassium, rich in vitamin C and folate.
It is a high-fiber, low-calorie root vegetable providing many health benefits to the heart and the body.
What better vegetable can substitute for daikon radish than other radish varieties?
Red radish is a sister to daikon radish, making it the best choice to substitute in any dish that calls for daikon radish. Neither variety replicates the other, but they share similar characteristics.
Radish is red in color and smaller than daikon radish at only 3 to 4 inches long. The red radish has a crisp, crunchy texture like daikon but has a more peppery and spicy taste.
You can eat red radish raw or cooked, including roasted, grilled, pickled, sautéed, or used in salad.
White Icicle Radish
White Icicle radish almost replicates a medium-size daikon radish in color, shape, and size. The radish variety measures about 4 to 5 inches long, with cylindrical, slender, elongated roots tapering to a pointed tip.
It has a white, crispy texture and a mild, peppery taste. The White Icicle radish grows in cooler climates, but can tolerate higher temperatures.
It is easy to substitute white icicle radish for daikon because it is available all year round.
Cherry Belle Radish
Cherry Belle radish is an heirloom seed that is easy to grow. This radish variety grows in hot, dry weather and is tolerant of poor soils.
The cherry belle variety is bright cherry red in color and bulbous shape like the red radish. It has a firm, crisp, white interior with edible top leaves and mild flavor.
Its taste and flavor are perfect to substitute for daikon radish in sandwiches, salads, and snacks.
French Breakfast Radish
French Breakfast radish has an oblong to cylindrical and elongated appearance with one taproot. It has a taut, smooth, thin skin with two-toned colors of fuchsia-red and white.
The French Breakfast radish is akin to Cherry Belle radish with edible leafy greens at the top but without the bulbous shape. The taste is mild, peppery, and subtly sweet with a crisp texture.
It is a well-known French radish commonly served for breakfast with cress, toast, and potted shrimp during the Victorian era, hence the name.
Korean Radish (Mu)
Korean radish, also known as Mu, is a variety of daikon grown in Korea. It is usually harvested during late fall and early winter. However, it is available throughout the year in a few farmers’ markets.
Mu is often mistaken for daikon radish because of its cylindrical shape and white color. However, it has a bigger size than a commercially grown daikon at 18 inches long and 2 inches wide. It has a peppery, slightly sweet taste and a crispy texture similar to daikon radish.
You can replace daikon radish with Mu in soup and stir-fry recipes. Mu can also be eaten raw, making a crunchy addition to your salad.
Bartender Mammoth Radish
Bartender Mammoth is another heirloom radish the same shape as carrots and often mistaken as one. Bartender mammoth can grow 9 inches long but is less dense and crisper than carrots.
It has a light pink color and a sturdy green top. It has a white interior and sharp, spicy flavor with a sweet aftertaste.
Bartender mammoth makes a suitable substitute for recipes that call for daikon. It works best cut lengthwise for dipping in hummus and tzatziki or as a stirrer or garnish to a Bloody Mary.
Watermelon radish is an heirloom variety of daikon, making this radish a suitable substitute. It has a bulbous shape but white skin similar to daikon.
The interior is deep red similar to watermelon, hence its name. It has a refreshing, mild, sweet flavor with hints of peppery aftertaste.
Watermelon radish is edible raw or cooked that you can enjoy as slaw, stir-fry, soup, and salad.
Golden Helios Radish
Golden Helios is named after the Greek God of the Sun because of its golden yellow color. It resembles the lemon fruit in looks, but it has the same bulbous shape as the red radish.
It matures within 25 days, but many harvest its purple-streaked green leafy top before the roots form under the soil line. The leaves are an attractive addition to stir-fries and salads.
The flesh of the golden Helios is crispy, white in texture, with a mild, sweet, and tasty flavor. Golden Helios is used in any recipe calling for daikon.
Ponytail Radish (Chonggak)
Ponytail radish, or Chonggakmu, or Chonggak, is a variety of Korean white radish. It is usually white in color but may also come in different colors, including red and purple.
Chonggak radish has hornlike double topknots similar to the hairstyle used during the coming of age celebrations. It is also believed the name ponytail was due to its leafy, long stems that resemble the hairstyle.
Chonggak is edible raw or cooked. It has a light flavor that can substitute for daikon radish in soup, salad, pickled, and stir-fry recipes.
Sakurajima radish is a variety of daikon named after the place where it is cultivated. In 2003, it was recorded as the heaviest radish, weighing 68 lbs. 9 oz. with a circumference of 46.8 inches.
It has a slightly sweet, peppery taste and is similar in shape to turnips. It is edible raw or cooked. Sakurajima radish is a popular addition in recipes for salads, stir-fry, pickled, and other fresh dishes.
7 Best Non Radish Substitute for Daikon Radish
You do not need to find other varieties of radishes to replace daikon in your recipe. Some other non-radish vegetables can work just as well.
Turnip is a root vegetable similar in color and appearance to red and white radish. It is part of the cabbage and cruciferous family sans the taste.
Raw Turnips have a slightly bitter, spicy taste that turns nutty, sweet, and earthy once cooked. The texture is starchy, crispy when raw, and turns velvety and soft once cooked.
Turnips are often cooked but can also be enjoyed raw like daikon radish. It can be grated raw in slaws or salad, roasted with other root vegetables, boiled or steamed, peeled and sliced as a snack, or mashed with potatoes.
Horseradish root is part of the cruciferous family. It is a perennial plant native to Western Asia and Europe.
Horseradish is approximately 24 inches long with a white, thick, tapered root. It tastes spicy with a sharp aroma.
It is the primary ingredient of horseradish sauce. Mix horseradish with vinegar and salt to substitute for daikon radish.
Beetroot tastes slightly different from daikon, but you can use it in any recipe requiring daikon radish. The sweet, crunchy texture can be similar to daikon radish.
The beetroots add a nice earthy flavor and a slight sweetness to the mix. This can be eaten as an appetizer or as a side dish.
Beetroot is a root vegetable that can substitute for daikon radish. It is red in color with a sweet, earthy taste. It is readily available and accessible in local grocery stores and supermarkets, even if it is commonly harvested during summer.
Beetroot is shaped like turnips and bulbous radishes. Beetroot is edible raw and a good addition in salads, but also works well when steamed, boiled, baked, grilled, and fried.
Jicama is another root vegetable suitable to substitute for daikon radish. It is far from being similar in appearance to daikon radish, with its thick, brown skin. However, the interior flesh of Jicama is as white as daikon.
Jicama tastes like apple and slightly like potato, but not as sweet and has fewer carbs.
Jicama has a crispy, crunchy texture. It can be eaten raw, juiced, and cooked. It is a great snack and salad option to substitute for daikon radish.
Parsnip has a sweet, nutty flavor that is perfect to substitute for daikon. It has similar color and texture to daikon are additional reasons for making it an excellent daikon alternative.
Parsnip pairs well with dishes like casseroles and stews. In addition, it is a great addition to side dishes and salads that call for raw daikon.
Water Chestnuts are similar to Jicama in appearance and shape. This tuber vegetable has the same brown skin and white interior as Jicama. It is grown in freshwater marshes.
It has a nutty, sweet, and tart flavor with a similar texture to Asian pears. It is edible raw or cooked and makes an excellent substitute for daikon in stir-fries, sliced as a snack, or eaten as a dessert.
The cabbage Heart is simply the core portion of the cabbage. The core is often ignored or thrown away because of its hard texture, but can easily replace daikon in your recipe.
It has a milder flavor than daikon but a similar texture once finely chopped. It is not an ideal substitute for taste. However, its crispy, crunchy texture can substitute for daikon in salads, casseroles, soups, stir-fries, and pickled vegetables.