This is one of my favourite dish, Daikon Nimono (大根煮物). Simmered to perfection, the daikon simply melts in your mouth. I was taught to cook this dish using 1 part of soy sauce, 1 part of sugar, 1 part of sake. Along the way, I adjusted the recipe to suit those at home.
This is a rather versatile dish whereby you can add other ingredients to enhance its flavour or keep it simple by just using Daikon, a.k.a. radish. The daikon will draw flavours from dashi stock, other ingredients and soy sauce. In return it lends its own sweetness into soup. You can add carrot and onions or replace daikon with Japanese pumpkins. You can add chicken chunks (I prefer thigh) or beef (those thinly sliced for Shabu-shabu). I have not added pork before but I think that will do fine as well. You can add a whole lot of things more if it deems fit, but remember; less is more. If you add all the 杂七杂八 (杂吧啷, if there's such an expression), you'll end up with a dish that is very confused and no character.
Usually, the soup is not drank, which I find it wasteful. I like to add Shirataki (しらたき, konnyaku noodles, which translates to 'white waterfall') to absorb the soup's flavour. The beauty of using Shirataki, rather than Harusame (春雨, cellophane noodles, which translates to 'Spring rain') is that; they stay crunchy even when you cook/soak them over a long period of time. Aiyo~~ why do Japanese name their ingredients until so 诗情画意 (romantic)? I like~~ ahahah.. *dreamy* Ah Girl loves the Shirataki. Who wouldn't? It has soaked up all the 'essence' (精华) of this dish. One more dish to add on to her menu.
Daikon Nimono 大根煮物
1 large Daikon
3 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
3 Tbsp Sake
2 Tbsp Mirin
1 Tbsp Sugar
600ml 2nd Dashi stock
1 packet of Shirataki, drained
1) Wash and peel daikon and cut into about 1 inch rounds.
2) In a pot, add in the dashi stock and the seasonings except sugar and mirin. Bring to a boil and add in the daikon slices. Once stock comes to a boil again, add sugar and Shirataki, lower the heat to a simmer. Skim off scums if necessary.
3) Simmer for about 30 minutes (add water if necessary), leaving lid slightly covered. Add in mirin and turn off the heat. Leave them aside, covered. Re-heat when you are ready to serve.
*Note : Prepare this ahead of time. You need time for the flavour to be soaked up by the Daikon and Shirataki. End product should not have alot of soup.
**Note : For information, Shirataki has zero calories and no carbohydrates. So those who are trying to lose weight can integrate this in their diet menu.
***Note : 1 thing I have learnt; if you are using konnyaku that comes in a block, use your hand to tear it into smaller pieces. Zero for presentation I would say, but I was told that it absorbs more flavour than those cut with knife.
Happy cooking!~ それじゃ～～