Nutrition & Benefits of Dried “Kiriboshi” Daikon
When compared to the same weight of raw daikon, kiriboshi-daikon contains fifteen times more calcium to strengthen bones and teeth, 32 times more iron to prevent pernicious anemia, and ten times more vitamins B1 and B2 to support metabolism. Because the volume decreases to approximately one tenth when dried, kiriboshi-daikon is a more efficient way to absorb nutrients. As a rich source of dietary fiber, it improves digestion and promotes beautiful skin. Kiriboshi-daikon is effective in weight-loss diets because it gives a sense of fullness even in small quantities. It also works to restore liver and stomach functions weakened by hangover, and it mitigates sensitivity to cold through its heat insulating action. Kiriboshi-daikon was a valuable food in the past when fresh vegetables were not readily available. Today, it is desired as a food packed with the nutrients that many people lack.
Recipe for Cooking Dried Daikon
Dried Daikon with Onion, Burdock and Carrot
2 cups dried daikon, soaked (discard the soaking water)
1 onion, cut in ¼ inch wedges
6-8 inches burdock root, cut into ½ inch rounds
4 large dried shitake, soaked until completely soft, cut into quarters (save soaking
1 carrot, cut into wedges
1. Sauté the onion with some sesame oil until caramelized. Then sauté the burdock,
dried daikon and then carrot, adding salt.
2. Add shitake water to half the height of the ingredients.
3. Bring up to pressure and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Bring down pressure and carefully reduce most of the liquid.
5. Finish seasoning with shoyu if needed.
I never paid much attention to dried daikon. It was one of those imported macrobiotic specialty foods that was hard to find. Where I lived, it had to be mail ordered. Besides, it was usually recommended in the books as a home remedy or special dish for specific conditions. So, I never viewed it as a regular food. It faded from use in my kitchen, and the two packages I had on hand, moved to the dark back corner of a kitchen drawer. Occasionally, over the years, I would encounter them while searching for something, and the dried daikon would look darker and unappealing as the years passed.
There also developed a general aversion in the macrobiotic community to the use of dried daikon, as some counselors would advise against its use, admonishing people that they were becoming “too yang,” and that dried daikon would only make them more so. All in all dried daikon fell out of favor and was all but forgotten by most macrobiotic cooks.
Some years ago, Cynthia and I set out on a mission to see how many of the imported macrobiotic foods we could make ourselves. So far we’ve made miso, natto, umeboshi, ume vinegar, ume ginger pickles, takuan rice bran pickles, brown rice syrup, shoyu, amasake, tempeh, naturally leavened bread. We had been inspired years before by our late, great cooking master, the inimitable and irreplaceable Cornellia Aihara. She taught that the spirit of macrobiotics encouraged us to make as many of our foods at home as possible, with local ingredients. So, at her Vega Study Center in California, students were very fortunate to learn from her how to make miso, shoyu, umeboshi and more. “What will you do if boat stops coming from Japan?” she would say. As it turned out, she was right. The boat didn’t stop coming from Japan, but the recent nuclear disaster there caused many outside of Japan to be very wary of eating imported Japanese foods. Some stopped eating them altogether. So, a few weeks ago, just when I thought I’d about made everything at home that had only been imported before, the idea popped up in my head: “Wait. Dried daikon!” And I began to research how it is made, its benefits, its nutritional make up…and, yes, I made some!
Generally, dried daikon has been considered a winter food, and the drying was originally done to preserve daikon through the cold season. However, it’s not necessary to view dried daikon in such a limited light.n It can be enjoyed anytime of the year. And don’t worry, using it now and then won’r make you too yang. You’d have to use an awful lot of it, on a regular basis, to get such an effect!
Some might say “Why bother?” Well, after you learn about dried daikon’s superior nutritional content, you might want to try it, too.
See the video below….