Dec 25, 2016

Pickled Radish Hawaiian-Style

Hawaiian Sweet & Spicy Pickled Daikon
Fresh daikon from Molokai's Farmers Market
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Fresh daikon is readily available in markets here in Hawaii. You see it used shredded as a garnish for sushi, but my favorite way to serve them is pickled in a sweet & spicy brine (much better than commercial brands). They are served with rice and grilled fish or chicken, or just eat them as a snack. They are some of the best pickles you can imagine.

2 pounds daikon radish no larger than 2 inches in diameter, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt, or kosher salt
4 teaspoons plus 1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons powdered turmeric
2 1-inch slices peeled ginger, cut into strips
2 Hawaiian chili peppers, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Place daikon slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt and 4 teaspoons of brown sugar, mix well. Place the colander over a bowl and let drain for about 1 hour, or until the radish slices are bendable. Rinse the salt and sugar off a couple of times under cold running water and dry the slices well. Put the slices into two sterilized quart glass jars.

In a small saucepan over medium heat add the vinegar, water, 1 cup brown sugar, turmeric, ginger, and chopped Hawaiian chili pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.

Carefully pour the hot turmeric brine into a strainer over the jars to cover the radish slices with the brine up to 1/4 inch from the rim of the jar. You want to do this while your brine is still relatively hot, as this improves the final crunch factor of you radish slices. If you wait until your brine has cooled down to add it to your radish slices, you'll end up with relatively soft radishes with little crunch. Screw the lid on tightly before the jar cools, then refrigerate for a minimum of two days, or as long as a week, as it ferments. At this point they are ready to eat. Pickled daikon will last for months stored in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 quarts.

For more daikon recipes, click here.

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