Korean-Style Braised Daikon with Mizuna, Kale, Radish Salad

Three Techniques to Try with Radishes

A lesson in playing with your food from ICE Director of Culinary Affairs

The Institute of Culinary Education has teamed up with GrowNYC for a monthly series highlighting a seasonal ingredient at the farmers’ market.

It’s March, and while the weather is hinting towards warmer days ahead, the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City is still displaying winter’s produce. One ingredient still in abundance is the humble radish, and that’s what ICE's Director of Culinary Affairs Hervé Malivert chose to showcase.

Chef Hervé explains that in French cuisine, radishes are served raw, with salt and butter, which helps to balance their spicy taste. Otherwise, this root vegetable is commonly seen pickled or added to salads. 

Chef Hervé took a non-traditional approach to preparing the ingredient.

In his recipe for Korean-Style Braised Daikon with Mizuna, Kale and Radish Salad, radishes are braised, grilled and pickled. Beyond testing various culinary techniques, he also experimented with different types of radishes, including daikon, purple daikon, watermelon, black and green meat radishes.

Korean-Style Braised Daikon with Mizuna, Kale, Radish Salad

During the recipe development process, Chef Hervé tested the different radishes to better understand how their flavors would change after manipulating them. He pickled three varieties, and decided the preparation most-suited the watermelon radish’s bright flavor. He sliced the black radish thinly, salted it and let it sit to see if it would lose some of its punch — and it did.

Don’t be intimidated by radishes — they are cheap, have a great crunchy texture and provide a flavor punch to salads, stews and braises. Here’s a quick primer on the types Chef Hervé used:

  • Daikon: a very popular radish, often used in Asian cuisine. It has a milder flavor in comparison to other radishes and is pressure-cooked in this recipe to become very tender.
  • Green meat radish and purple daikon: Similar in taste, though the purple variety has more flavor than the green. As its name suggests, when green meat is cooked, it has a meat-like texture. In this recipe, the radishes are grilled and julienned for the salad.
  • Black radish: A less popular variety that is very hard in texture with a strong flavor. Chef Hervé doesn’t recommend cooking this one — instead, try thinly slicing and pickling or salting it so it loses some of its spiciness. 
  • Watermelon radish: A favorite because of its beautiful color, and sweeter and juicier than other radishes. You’ll lose some of the color if you cook it, so Chef Hervé prefers to thinly slice and pickle which will enhance its pink color.

"If you aren’t familiar with an ingredient or produce item, just try one," Chef Hervé says. "Buy one, try it raw and try cooking it. If it’s good, it’s good; if not, try to find a different way to [prepare] it until you find something you like and the way you want to use it."

Chef Hervé’s recipe is a twist on Korean short ribs, just starring daikon instead of meat. The braising liquid has a strong umami flavor that’s salty and sweet. The pickled, grilled and raw radishes balance these rich flavors with crunchy and fresh textures and sour and punchy notes.

Try this recipe at home, or follow in Chef Hervé's footsteps and put your own spin on radishes.

Work with Chef Hervé in ICE's Culinary Arts Program


Korean-Style Braised Daikon with Mizuna, Kale and Radish Salad

Serves 4


For the Braised Daikon:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 120 grams sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 inches ginger, crushed
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 3-inch pieces daikon steak, peeled
  • Cornstarch (to make a slurry)

For the Pickled Radish:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 140 grams sugar
  • 15 grams salt
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru
  • Mixture of seasonal radishes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 8 slices of each

For the Salad and Assembly:

  • Pickled seasonal radishes and daikon (above)
  • Black radish and watermelon radishes, julienned
  • Purple and green daikon, grilled
  • Mizuna and kale


For the Braised Daikon:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pressure cooker and braise for 25 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can braise in a pot on the stove or in the oven until daikon is tender.
  2. Remove daikon, strain the liquid and add slurry to reach desired consistency.
  3. Sear daikon in a hot cast-iron pan with olive oil to char both sides.

For the Pickled Radish:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except for the radishes/daikon in a pot and simmer for 10 minutes, then cool completely.
  2. Transfer to a sous vide bag, add the radish and vacuum seal. If you don’t have access to a vacuum sealer, you can place in any air-tight container to pickle overnight.

For the Salad and Assembly:

  1. Combine all elements and season with extra-virgin oil and rice vinegar.

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