Takuan is a popular Japanese pickle traditionally made once a year and left alone for months fermenting to allow the flavor to fully develop. The fermenting process results in the a beautiful yellow colored pickle full of flavor. However, if you can’t find pickled daikon in a store near you, you might not want to commit to months of pickling for just one dish, delicious though it may be. So, this recipe is a easy variation for a quick pickle without the long fermentation. Still crisp and flavorful, in a fraction of the time!
But, you might be thinking, these pickles aren’t yellow. Well, yes, since we aren’t fermenting them for months, they don’t develop that beautiful golden color. If you want to make your pickles yellow, you can add a few drops of food coloring to the vinegar, or mix in a teaspoon of tumeric. (Tumeric is used for its color more so than flavor, and is often used to give boiled rice a yellow color. When you see yellow fried rice at a restaurant, it’s likely they colored it with tumeric!)
While I like to call this recipe quick, it’s not at all quick in comparison to my basic quick pickles. This recipe takes about two days, but when classic takuan takes months to prepare, two days is pretty quick!! The pickling brine serves as a perservative, so one batch will keep for at least a month – that is if you can stop yourself from eat them all right away! Takuan served with a hot bowl of rice and miso soup is a very simple yet oh so delicious meal!
Can’t find daikon? You can use any radish available to you. I’ve made it with red radishes before for a similar taste. While you’ll have to use a lot of them, I think the red skin makes a beautiful contrast to the pickle when sliced!
Recipe – Quick Pickled Diakon:
– Skin the daikon, then start slicing it into thin strips.
– Sprinkle the daikon with salt, then let it sit for about 2 hours to pull out some of the water and develop some crunch.
– After two hours, take the daikon a handful at a time and squeeze out as much water as you can. Set the squeezed daikon in a plastic container.
– Add the cooled liquid to the container, then cover with a lid and let sit for at least two days for flavor to develop!
– Serve chilled or at room temperature!