Takuan

As a child, I hated pickles. All of them. There was not a single type of pickle I would willingly eat.

Whenever my family would go to McDonald’s, I’d get a burger, with the pickles… and then pick every single pickle off my burger and transfer them to my mom’s. She LOVED pickles, and would happily eat the extra ones, while I was perfectly content to do with out.

And then… adulthood happened.

I went from being the ABSOLUTE pickiest kid, to being someone who will eat just about anything. Granted, the transition took about a decade, but now there are very few foods I’ll turn down.

These days? I love pickles. Bread and butter pickles, Japanese tsukemono, Vietnamese do chua, I love them all.

There is only one downside to this. These days – at least, pre-pandemic – when my mom and I go on our occasional McDonald’s dates? She doesn’t get my pickles anymore. Sorry mom.

Takuan are one of my favorite pickles, they go so well with so many things!

Most of the time I buy them at the store, but mid-pandemic when it’s a little less desirable to go out to the grocery store unnecessarily, I figured I’d try making my own.

Overall, I was pretty happy with these! It’s still easier to go to the store when I can, but these are a great alternative that don’t require food coloring – they just take time.

Takuan

recipe from Food Land

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs daikon radish
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 10-20 annatto seeds, for color
  • 2 tsp shoyu
Cooking Directions
  1. Peel the daikon and cut in half lengthwise. Cut each half into slices 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Place daikon in a bowl and toss with the salt and allow it to pull out the moisture for approximately 2 hours.
  3. In a pot, combine the sugar, water, rice vinegar, sake, and annatto seeds. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar completely dissolves and the liquid is a bright yellow color. Remove from heat, remove the annatto seeds, and cool.
  4. After the 2 hours, squeeze the daikon to remove as much moisture as possible and place into a 1 quart jar.
  5. Pour over the cooled liquid, add in the shoyu, cover and refrigerate.
  6. Allow to sit for at least 2 days before eating. As they continue to age, the flavor will continue to develop.

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