Sunday, January 03, 2010
New Year's Salad
This salad of finely shredded daikon and carrot is accented with citrus and dried fruit and is dressed in a sweet and sour sauce. A red and white color scheme (the carrots are red, the radish is white) is often chosen for a celebratory menu in Japan. This particular dish typically graces holiday tables at the New Year and was part of my Washoku Warriors challenge for January 2010.
Serve 6 to 8
3.5 inch piece daikon, about 7 oz, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1-inch piece carrot, preferably Kyoto red carrot about 2 oz, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 tsp freeze-dried yuzu peel, ground to a powder, or finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 small dried persimmon or 1 small dried apricot, finely shredded
1/2 sweet and sour sauce, prepared with kombu piece
Place the daikon shreds in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Allow the daikon shreds to sit undisturbed for about 2 minutes, or until they begin to sweat. Gently toss, gradually increasing pressure with your fingertips, squeezing and pressing to wilt the daikon. Pour off any accumulated liquid and rinse the wilted daikon shreds briefly under running cold water to remove excess salt. Squeeze again. The daikon will be pliable at this point.
Place the carrot shreds in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and let sit undisturbed for about 3 minutes, or until they begin to sweat. Gently toss, gradually increasing pressure with your fingertips, squeezing and pressing to wilt the carrot. Pour off the accumulated liquid and rinse the carrot shreds briefly under running cold water to remove excess salt. Squeeze again. The carrot will be pliable at this point.
Combine the carrots and radish in a bowl Add the yuzu peel and dried fruit and toss well to distribute Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the vegetable and fruit mixture and toss lightly. Let stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Or, for longer storage (up to 3 days), transfer the mixture with its sweet and sour pickling liquid to a glass jar. With clean chopsticks or another kitchen tool, press down on the mixture, making sure it is submerged in the liquid. Place the kombu piece on top before capping. Cover the jar with plastic wrap (to keep the vinegar from reacting with the metal of the lid) and a tight-fitting lid, or use a Mason jar.
Just before serving, drain the daikon and carrot mixture and discard the kombu. Gently squeeze out excess moisture.