Nimono simmered dish and hot pot dishes such as nabe and oden are often made during the cold season. Making them is time-consuming. Especially for daikon, it takes a lot of time to simmer it until the flavor soaks in. However, if you use a certain method, you can make the daikon soak up the flavor in an instant! We will introduce the secret method.
What is the secret to instantly infuse the daikon with flavor?
All you have to do is heat daikon in a microwave and put it in cold soup stock while it is still hot. Sounds very easy, doesn't it? At this time, seasoning is added to the soup stock. Then, the daikon absorbs the broth and soaks up the seasoning in about 5 minutes. Then simply cook the oden as usual.
Why does the daikon soak up the flavor so quickly?
Some people may say that it is unreliable to just use the secret technique we have introduced. But there is a good reason for this - Heating in a microwave removes water from the daikon. Normally, daikon has to be cooked for a long time, but the key is to heat it in a microwave instead of boiling it in a pot.
The microwave has the property of removing water from the food when it is heated, so it can remove excess water from the daikon. By putting the daikon in the soup stock, the soup stock is quickly absorbed by the daikon after the water has been removed.
If you boil daikon in soup stock with seasonings, it is difficult for thick daikon like oden's to soak up the flavors. Therefore, some people pre-boil the daikon to break the daikon fibers first, so the seasoning can easily penetrate into the gaps between the broken fibers, making it easier for the flavor to soak through to the inside.
The same thing applies for microwave heating. The fibers can be broken in the same way as when you boil daikon in a pot, and the microwave can also release water, so you can easily prepare daikon in a way that makes it easier for the flavors to soak in.
Why does the soup stock have to be cold?
Putting hot daikon into cold soup stock creates a temperature difference, and the action of eliminating the temperature difference is triggered. The hot daikon is cooled by the cold broth, and the cold broth is absorbed into the hot daikon.
The hot broth will soak up the flavor of the daikon if it takes time, but the key to making it soak up the flavor in an instant is to create a temperature difference by placing it in the cold broth.
The process of instantly infusing daikon with flavor
So what is the actual procedure? Let us explain.
1. cut the daikon into about 1.5" / 4 cm thick slices, peel thickly, and make a cross slit. If you peel a very thin strip from the edges of each slice just like in the photo, the daikon will not break easily.
2. Place the daikon in a heatproof container and sprinkle with 3 tbsp of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave at *1000W for 6 minutes. The daikon is ready when it is transparent and a bamboo skewer goes through easily. You will see some water that came out from the daikon on the bottom of the container.
*The microwave heating time is a guideline for half a daikon. If you have a lot of daikon, simply add more time.
3. Prepare cold soup stock with seasonings (either cold or room temperature) in a pot. Add cooked daikon while still hot and let sit for 5 minutes.
4. When the daikon changes the color, add the other ingredients, heat them up and simmer them for 20 to 30 minutes.
This is all it takes to make oden with daikon that is fully infused with flavor.
Daikon after 5 minutes soaked in cold broth
How much flavor can be soaked into the daikon by this method? The daikon was taken out after 5 minutes of soaking in the broth here.
When you put the daikon on a plate, we can see that the color of the daikon has changed to the color of the soup stock as a whole.
When you cut it in half, you can see that even the inside has changed color and it has soaked up the soup stock. Surprisingly, the it tastes as good as being simmered for a long time.
This method can also be applied when making various daikon simmered dishes. It it's easy to do, so if you want to shorten the time, please try it.
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