Daikon Tomato Salad (Ensaladang Labanos)

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Daikon is a very large white radish commonly found in East Asia.  It looks like a very large and thick white carrot or an oversized turnip, although its taste is nowhere near either one of those. It is also called Japanese or Chinese radish (daikon is the japanese name) or “labanos” in the Philippines.  One of my favorite salads and comfort foods, this white radish and tomato dish is perfect with grilled meat or fish.  We always have this in the summer when tomatoes are fresh and sweet and daikon is not as expensive.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large fresh daikon, peeled and sliced very thinly (approximately 2 cups sliced)
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped or sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • fish sauce to taste

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Directions:

  1. To remove some of the bitterness of the daikon, place on a  colander and add salt.  Mix thoroughly and let sit of at least 30 minutes over sink or big bowl.   I sometimes leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Squeeze the salted daikon and drain as much juice as you can.  You can also quickly wash it under running water if you want.
  3. Place drained daikon in a serving bowl.  Add tomatoes and mix.
  4. Add more salt or fish sauce to taste.  Serve with grilled meat or fish.

Note: Except when serving this to guests,  I often squeeze the tomatoes (instead of slicing)  with the daikon using my hands, keeping all the juice mixed in.  I find that I get better flavor this way.

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» Manang said: { Apr 16, 2009 - 09:04 }

thanks for posting this before tomato season (at least here). I have just started gardening…my garden is still bare at present. My MIL has seedlings replanted in pots, and I am gonna get from her some tomato plants. So, I am bookmarking this for future use!

» Steven Gdula said: { Apr 17, 2009 - 11:04 }

This looks good and I bet in the summer it is really refreshing! Thanks for posting!

» Sean said: { Apr 17, 2009 - 12:04 }

Thanks for sharing this. It looks amazing. So simple and refreshing! I can’t wait to try it!

» The Duo Dishes said: { Apr 17, 2009 - 05:04 }

This is such a simple salad–quick and easy to make. The colors are great too.

» Savor said: { Apr 17, 2009 - 07:04 }

I ha ve never tried Daikon–do you think I will like it if I di not like regular radishes?

» virtual chef said: { Apr 17, 2009 - 07:04 }

savor: if you don’t like regular radishes, you might not like daikon. although, i find daikon to be less “tart/bitter” than regular radish. and adding salt to remove most of the tartness/bitterness might appeal to you especially if it is mixed with fresh, sweet tomatoes. if you ever try it, let me know.

» Elyse said: { Apr 18, 2009 - 01:04 }

Mmm, this salad looks totally refreshing and delicious. I love daikon, and you don’t really see it appreciated enough! So glad you paid homage to this awesome ingredient.

» Tangled Noodle said: { Apr 18, 2009 - 08:04 }

I’ve used daikon in soups but this would be the first in a fresh salad. It looks perfect for a summer barbecue side dish!


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