Radishes have often been closely identified with Southern Asia, and although historians agree that the vegetable originated from the Mediterranean, they were brought to Chine around 500 BC. Radishes go by a variety of names, including ‘winter radish’, ‘oriental radish’ and the ‘white radish’.
There are also a diverse amount of different types of radish. One example is that of the red radish, identified by its vibrant red skin. This is often eaten raw as part of a salad. However, in comparison, the white radish is a more popular choice within Asia, and in Japan is goes by the name ‘daikon’. The white radish is typically used within soups and stews, and the most well known dish is that called ‘loh pak koh’ which is a radish pudding. Additionally, the white radish is used in a popular Chinese New Year dish called ‘Turnip Cake.’ Due to the popularity of the white radish in Chinese cuisine, this article will continue to refer specifically to this particular type. Normally, the white radishes are heavy, large and have a white smooth exterior skin. The majority of these radishes grown between 2 to 4 inches in diameter, and anywhere between 6 to 20 inches long, and are known for their spherical, oblong and cylindrical shapes. The white radish is also available in plentifulness during the winter seasons, beginning around November and into March. White radishes have a plethora of healthy benefits, containing a wealth of vitamins c and calcium.
To prepare the white radish, one must wash, peel the surface and then chop as desired. The white radish is extremely versatile, can be eaten both raw and cooked. The flesh of the white radish is crisp, and overall they have an appetizing mild flavor. One of the benefits of the white radish is that when cooking with various meats, the vegetable absorbs the flavours, and helps tenderize the meat. As previously mentioned, white radishes can be used in a myriad of ways, and are often cooked along side meat. One traditional Chinese dish called ‘goh’, involves steaming the white radish and frying just before serving.