Braised Daikon with Scallion Oil

My mom has a lot of what I call “mom-isms” — philosophies, superstitions, wisdom. My favorite ones are the food ones, like “winter luo buo (daikon) it the yummiest, it’s when daikon is the sweetest and fattiest”. And braised daikon is a beautiful thing as it soaks up the flavor of the liquid and is flavorfully tender while still feeling ‘meaty’. I love adding daikon to dishes like hong shao rou (braised pork belly) but sometimes I just want it on its own sans meat, and that’s when I make this dish!

I used:

  • 1 lb daikon, peeled and cut into ~1/2 inch thick quarters
  • 2 medium dried shiitakes, rehydrated in hot water (reserve soaking water), de-stemmed and cut into quarters
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in 2 tbsp shaoxing wine for ~15 mins
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 1 scallion, cut into ~2-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • scallion oil: 1 scallion thinly sliced, 1/4 cup neutral hot oil
  • optional: add 1 tsp dark soy sauce to lend more color

To make:

  • In a pot, add in soy sauce, sugar, star anise, dried shrimp, shaoxing cooking wine, ginger, and scallion
  • Mix in the daikon pieces and add in the reserved shiitake water
  • If the shiitake water isn’t enough to cover most of the daikon, fill with regular water
  • Bring to a boil and simmer on low until daikon is tender ~30 minutes, giving it a stir halfway, braising for longer (an hour +!) yields even better flavor and texture
  • Make your scallion oil by heating up neutral oil over medium heat. You know the oil is hot enough when you place in a wooden chopstick into the oil and see bubbles forming around it. Pour oil over scallions
  • Remove anise and ginger slices from the daikon pot and season with salt to taste
  • Top with scallion oil and serve with rice. I also like adding vermicelli noodles and Napa cabbage to leftover broth + daikon 🙂