Your stored-bought sugar-pickled daikon radish got a healing makeover. Pickled with fresh orange juice, along with ginger and orange peels, this ginger orange pickled daikon radish is paleo, vegan and whole 30 compliant. Read on to find out why the pickling liquid is a perfect immune shot against coughs and respiratory infections during the cold and flu season.
Daikon, also called Chinese white radish, is one of the most valued winter vegetables in eastern and northern parts of Asia. There are so many folk sayings about this root vegetable, such as “radishes for sale, doctors close shop”. In Asian countries, daikon is often used in traditional food remedies against coughs and lung infections in the winter.
Growing up, daikon was one of the main vegetables we ate all winter, and everyone was fit as a fiddle. We had the white radishes braised with meat or boiled in all kinds of vegetable or bone soups, until they turn so tender and sweet. But if you dare to take a bite of the raw daikon radish, it can be pungent and spicy that catch you off guard. As much as I love warming and healing soups and broths (evidence here), one can only eat so much. That’s why on days you just feel like something crunchy and light to accompany your meal, you pickle the raw daikon radish which will remove the spiciness.
Why You Should Eat More Daikon
The main reason daikon is so valued for winter months and used in many food remedies is due to it’s amazing benefits to the respiratory track:
The combination of antibacterial and antiviral activities with the expectorant properties of daikon and its juice make it ideal for treating respiratory issues. The excess phlegm or mucus in your respiratory tracts can capture bacteria and allow it to grow. Daikon juice not only clears out phlegm but also eliminates bacteria and other pathogens, keeping your respiratory system healthy. (Source)
In addition, daikon radish is also praised for its ability to improve digestion, boost immune system, prevent cancer, and detox, etc. from both western and eastern perspectives. No matter how you slice and dice it (pun intended), daikon radish is an ideal winter vegetable with many medicinal benefits.
I spiralize my daikon radish because it’s so fast to process a big root, then I cut the ribbons into shorter segments with a knife. Make sure to use the thick ribbon setting of your spiralizer. However, a spiralizer is NOT necessary for this recipe. Simply cut the daikon into thick juliennes.
Orange Peels for Flavour and Health
I spent some time in Japan in my younger days. While there, I learned to pickle daikons with orange peels to enhance the flavour. Just like adding orange zest in cooking, pickling with orange peels has similar aromatic effects by infusing the flavour of orange peels into the pickling liquid and the pickled vegetables.
Orange peels are arguably the healthiest part of the whole fruit. Orange peels contain higher amount of certain nutrients such as vitamin C than the flesh, and are rich in flavonoids, known for their role in helping to prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. (Source)
The source link above recommends eating the organic orange peels by Dr. Mercola. Would you? If you would, then cut the orange peels into juliennes so they mix in well with rest of the pickled daikon radish. Granted the orange peels don’t taste that great, so if you aren’t planning to eat the peels and rinds, cut the peels into larger chunks so you can take them out easily when they are done the job of pickling. (See photo below)
I, for one, don’t enjoy eating the peels, while I am gladly using them in my pickled daikon radish, adding them in soups for infusion, or eating in the form of orange zests.
Pickled Daikon Juice – The Perfect Winter Immune Shot
What you are left with after the pickled daikon radishes are eaten, is the pickling liquid chock full of nutrients. Here are what’s in the pickling liquid, and nothing else:
- freshly squeezed organic orange juice
- freshly grated ginger
- raw apple cider vinegar
- some daikon juice released from daikon radish
- some nutrients released from the organic orange peels
- Himalayan salt
Each of the ingredient above have great health benefits. Many people use orange juice, ginger, apple cider vinegar and Himalayan salt in their regular health routines or as first line of defence against sickness. You can find more of my rants on daikon juice and orange peels in the sections above. All in all, this combination is quite beneficial for boosting immunity against winter sickness. So if you have a concoction like this, will you toss it?
I must admit the pickling juice was too tasty to share with anyone else. If I didn’t divide up to drink my immune shots over 3 days, I would have no problem finishing the whole thing in one sitting. I will really need to pickle more daikon soon just so that I can have my immune shots again.
More Immune-Boosting Recipes for the Winter:
Ginger Orange Pickled Daikon + Immune Shot
- 1 medium Daikon (aka. Chinese white radish), approx. 1.5 lb.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2-3 organic oranges)
- 1 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 organic orange peels
- Remove the skin of the daikon radish with a potato peeler.
- Cut the daikon radish into thick juliennes about 1/4 inch thick, and 2 inch long. I use the thick ribbon setting on a spiralizer for fast result. If using a spiralizer, cut the ribbons into shorter segments. A spiralizer will produce thinner cuts than using a knife.
- In a non-metallic mixing bowl, add salt to the cut daikon. Mix evenly.
- Meanwhile, squeeze the juice from the organic oranges, until you have at least 1 cup. You will need 2 to 3 oranges. Save the peels of 1 organic orange.
- Use a knife to remove the inside membranes of the orange, keeping only the peels with as little whites possible. Cut the orange peels into 4 quarters. See note #3 below.
- Finely grate peeled ginger to make enough for 2 tbsp.
- Whisk together the orange juice, grated ginger and apple cider vinegar to make the pickling liquid.
- Add the orange peels into the bowl of dailkon. Pour over the pickling liquid.
- You can let the daikon pickle in the mixing bowl, or in glass jars. Either way, keep the radish and orange peels submerged under the liquid at all time, and keep the bowl or glass jar covered.
- Let it pickle in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.
- Remove the radish from the pickling liquid and serve as a side dish.
- Discard the orange peels, unless you plan to eat them. See note #3 below.
- Serve the pickling liquid as a immune shot.
- Daikon cut into any shape under 1/4 inch thick will not affect the taste. It's a personal choice how you want to cut it. You may cut the white radish into 1/4 inch slices if you wish.
- Only use organic orange peels to avoid pesticides.
- If you are planning to eat the orange peels, then cut the peels into thin juliennes in pickling step #5. See the "Orange peels for flavour and health" section for more information.