Daikon is a root vegetable, member of the Brassicaceae family with a mild flavor and napiform root. It is also known as daikon radish, Japanese radish, winter radish, Chinese radish, and white radish.
However, it has other names depending on the variety and the region where it is cultivated. This is a popular vegetable in Japanese and Asian cuisines but it is also used in many cuisines around the world.
It is available in many colors, sizes, and shapes with many flavors. You can use raw daikon in your salads and cooked dishes like soups, stews, stir-fries, roasted dishes, baked goods, and pickles.
Daikon radish is sold in many Asian markets and other shops and if you are using it often you know how it improves the flavor of your food.
But if you forget to buy it, or didn’t found it in your store some other vegetables can be used as a substitute for daikon radish. You can use turnips, radish, jicama, parsnips, Korean radish, cabbage, horseradish root, beetroot, carrots, or water chestnuts.
Daikon Radish Substitutes
Daikon radish has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor and crunchy texture which mellows and becomes soft when cooked. The skin of the daikon is edible and doesn’t have to be peeled but the green leaves add extra flavor to different salads, soups, and many other cooked dishes.
Best daikon radish substitutes are the ones that have similar flavor and texture. However, if you have some of these vegetables you can add them to your dish and improve its flavor.
Turnips are one of the root vegetables with a similar flavor to daikon radish. The leaves and the root are edible and a common ingredient in many savory dishes like soups and stews.
You can also add raw turnips in salads with different dips and dressings. You can also roast, bake, or saute them. They have a slightly spicy flavor similar to potato and radish.
People usually cook them with other root vegetables with a stronger taste. If you use them as a substitute for daikon radish you will obtain a similar crunchy texture and distinctive flavor in your dish.
You can pick from different types of radish in different sizes shapes and colors. The flavor varies depending on the type and growing conditions and it can be mild, slightly, or very spicy.
Radishes are used raw in salads but they can be also roasted, pickled, sauteed, or grilled. White radish has a slightly sweet and mild flavor similar to daikon radish. Therefore, you can use it as a substitute for your dishes.
Jicama is a veggie native to Mexico. It is known as a Mexican potato, Mexican turnip, and yam bean. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and crunchy texture.
This veggie is mostly used raw in salads but it can be also fried, sauteed, boiled, or steamed. It is a good substitute for daikon radish because of its similar texture and flavor.
Parsnips are root vegetables with a cream color and form similar to carrots. You can either use them raw or add them to soups and stews. However, they are tastier when they are roasted, fried, boiled, baked, and steamed.
Parsnips have a sweet and nutty flavor that turns sweeter when they are cooked. Thus, when you are using parsnips as a substitute for daikon radish you will get a dish with a sweeter flavor.
5. Korean radish
Korean radish is shorter and rounder than daikon radish with a peppery and slightly sweet flavor. It works well in soups, stir-fries, and stews, but it is also added raw in salads and pickled.
Korean radish is less sweet than daikon radish. Thus, you will get a different flavor in your dish if you are using it as its substitute.
There are many types of cabbage in many colors and shapes. Raw cabbage has a slightly peppery and light flavor which mellows when cooked.
It is used raw in salads, pickled or added in soups, stir-fries, and casseroles. If you are using cabbage as a substitute in your dish you will have a crunchy texture but not a very similar flavor to daikon radish.
7. Horseradish root
Horseradish root is usually used as a condiment and an ingredient in sauces and dressings. You can use it fresh and as a powder in many dishes with meat and vegetables, potato salad, sauces, and homemade mayonnaise.
Horseradish has a strong spicy, and peppery flavor. However, it losses its potency when it is exposed to air and heat and gets a bitter flavor. You can use a small amount of horseradish as a substitute for daikon radish and add more if you like the flavor it adds to your dish.
Beets are root vegetables with a similar shape to radishes and turnips and dark red color. They grow as a round bulb with green edible leaves and are used in many savory dishes.
Beet’s juice has a red color and stains surfaces and skin. Thus, it is used as a dye for fabrics and foods. Beetroot, on the other hand, has a sweet and earthy flavor.
You can use it raw in salads, or baked, boiled, steamed, fried, and grilled. If you don’t mind the red color and the earthy flavor of beetroot you can use it as a substitute for daikon radish.
The carrot is a staple in every cuisine. It is often orange but there are also varieties with yellow, white, purple, and red color. Carrots are nutritious vegetables full of beta-carotene and fiber, C, E, K, A, and B vitamins that are good for your health.
Depending on the type and growing conditions carrots can have sweet and earthy. Or bitter and soapy flavor. You can use them in soups, salads, marinades, stews, sauces, pickles, etc.
As a substitute for daikon radish, they will give a crunchy texture and sweet earthy taste to your dish. The flavor is not quite similar to the flavor that daikon radish gives to your food. However, if you have carrots at home you can use them to improve the flavor of your dish.
10. Water chestnuts
Water chestnuts are a vegetable that grows underwater in marshes. They can be found fresh and canned. And they are used to give texture and flavor to many dishes.
Freshwater chestnuts have a sweet nutty flavor similar to coconut and apple, while canned ones don’t have any strong flavor.
They perform well in soups, stuffing, stir-fries, and many other dishes. You will not get the same daikon radish flavor in your dish. But water chestnuts will give some crunchiness, different flavor, and texture to your dish.
Can I use white radish instead of daikon?
You can use white radish instead of daikon because they both have similar flavors and crispy textures.
What’s the difference between daikon radish and regular radish?
Daikon radish and regular radish are different in size, shape, and flavor. Daikon radish is bigger and with a sweeter flavor than regular radish.
Are turnip and daikon the same?
Turnip and daikon are not the same vegetables, but they belong to the same family.
Is daikon radish the same as parsnip?
Daikon radish is not the same as parsnip. It is a root vegetable and belongs to the Brassicaceae family, while parsnip is also a root vegetable but a member of the parsley family-Apiaceae.
What is the difference between daikon and Korean radish?
Korean radish is shorter, rounder, and with a slightly green color around the head. It also has a more peppery flavor than daikon. While daikon is longer, with white color and sweeter flavor.
Daikon radish is a versatile vegetable used in many dishes. However, if you don’t have it in your kitchen you can substitute it with some of the vegetables mentioned in this article.
They will give you flavor similar to the flavor of daikon, but if they don’t taste alike daikon don’t be disappointed you will get some flavor. And some flavor is better than no flavor.