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A Kind Dinner

November 10, 2010

Last night, I experimented with two of the other goodies that Ryan found for me at the Asian market: daikon radish, and lotus root.  Last January, when I read Alicia’s Silvestone’s book, The Kind Diet, I noticed quite a few tasty-looking recipes centered around these two ingredients.  Just one problem—I’d never heard of either of them, and had certainly never seen either one at our grocery store!

I kind of forgot about them until last summer, when I met Danielle for lunch at a local cafe.  She ordered a rice dish, and it included…lotus root!

“A ha!” I thought.  “It has to be around here somewhere.”

Sure enough, I was able to track it down, along with daikon radish, at our local Asian market.  Time to get cooking!

Using a few recipes from The Kind Diet as inspiration, I got to work on our dinner last night, braising the daikon and roasting the lotus root.

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Daikon basically looks like an overgrown white carrot.  It’s a natural diuretic, and also cuts through fats.  Interesting!

To cook the daikon, I peeled it, and then cut it into 1/2 rounds.  I placed the rounds in a pan, and then added 2 tbsp. shoyu, 1/4 cup mirin, and enough water to cover the daikon.  I then brought the liquid to a rapid boil, reduced to a simmer, and covered for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, the liquid was reduced by about half.  I brought it back UP to a boil, and then allowed the liquid to cook down for another five minutes.  At that point, there was just enough liquid remaining to spoon over our dinner as a sauce.  Perfect!

And then, it was time for the lotus root.  It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but on the inside…behold!

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Talk about beautiful presentation! 

I peeled it and then cut it into thin slices.  I tried to cut it as thin as possible, because I had a feeling it would roast up and get nice and crisp if it was cut verrrrry thinly…and I was right!

I roasted the lotus root along with some chopped carrots.  To roast these veggies, I tossed them with 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, 1 tbsp. shoyu, 1 tsp. miso paste, and 1 tbsp. agave nectar.  They had a salty/sweet thing going on that was just delicious.

Once both veggies were done cooking, we served them both over couscous, and spooned the leftover sauce from the daikon cooking liquid over the veggies and couscous.  It was delicious!

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Both of these veggies have completely unique flavors.  The daikon was really soft and almost sweet, and the lotus root slices got nice and crispy in the oven.  Their texture reminds me almost of a water chestnut—dense and crunchy. 

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It’s so fun to branch out and try new ingredients…sometimes I feel like we get stuck in the same rut and end up eating the same dishes night after night (hello, SQUASH!!!).  If you can track down either of these ingredients, I’d highly recommend giving them a go!

Catch ya later today!

20 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 3:55 pm

    You have convinced me to seek these now! I am with you, we stick with the usual suspects most of the time, but that is also for ease since I know the boys will eat them. I will look for these though and definitely try them out!

    • November 10, 2010 4:14 pm

      Haha…yeah, we’ll see if we’re still eating daikon and lotus root when we have kids 🙂

  2. November 10, 2010 3:55 pm

    The lotus root is so cool!

  3. November 10, 2010 4:53 pm

    What a lovely meal!

    I’ve been very intrigued by that cookbook!

    • November 10, 2010 7:51 pm

      It has some really interesting recipes! She posts a lot to the kind diet website too, if you don’t want to shell out the moolah for the whole book 😉

  4. November 10, 2010 5:46 pm

    I saw both of these yesterday at Tait Farm in State College! Have you been there yet? You would love it.

    • November 10, 2010 6:42 pm

      I love Tait Farm!!! We haven’t been over there since early fall though– now I have a reason to go again!

  5. November 10, 2010 7:09 pm

    I love daikon and the way it’s used in traditional Japanese cooking

  6. Ginger permalink
    November 10, 2010 8:18 pm

    Those look good! Wonder if Shreveport has them? We’re on our way to New Orleans. We’ll call you tomorrow.

  7. November 10, 2010 8:36 pm

    Wow- that lotus root is awesome looking! Does it taste at all like jicama?

  8. November 10, 2010 8:46 pm

    Gorgeous looking dinner. I have never tried lotus root.

  9. November 10, 2010 9:18 pm

    I’ve never heard of either of these (and I read The Kind Diet, I guess I glanced over them haha) but they look awesome! The lotus root is so pretty!

  10. November 10, 2010 10:34 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try this dish out of the book! The lotus root always looks so beautiful.

    Your daikon turned out PERFECTLY btw. right outta the picture.

  11. November 11, 2010 1:10 am

    I have that cookbook but I’ve never made anything from it. Looks pretty. And tasty.

  12. November 11, 2010 1:49 am

    Wow it all looks so good. I love daikon and I am glad you did too! I have not tried lotus root before, and now I want to! I just love the way it looks, you are right such a great presentation 😉 ~ Lori

  13. Ayla permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:50 am

    The lotus root is so pretty! I don’t think I’ve ever seen or tried it before.

    I have Alicia’s book too and while I love it, the ingredients are NOT easy to find in my small town. Make that impossible to find.

  14. November 11, 2010 1:59 am

    Tell me about it with the squash. 🙂 And I never knew lotus root looked so cool!

  15. November 11, 2010 3:17 am

    They are hard to find ingredients, I can usually only find them at Whole Foods. Daikon is great in the spiralizer. And yum, this dish looks great and you may have inspired me to finally pick the book up. 🙂

  16. November 11, 2010 4:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Never heard of either of these ingredients but I looked up my local Asian Market and am going to try to hunt them down to make this. Looks delish!

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