Daikon Au Gratin

For only 1 net carb per ounce (as opposed to 5 net per ounce for potatoes), the terrific root vegetable known as the daikon radish is a crowd pleaser.

I have tried daikon (mooli for our friends outside of the US) for various uses and found my favorite as a baked addition to the au gratin to be my personal favorite of all of the methods I have attempted.

The daikon radish is wonderful. With a mild flavor, and just the right amount of body, thin-sliced performs admirably in dishes where potatoes have long been missed.

Your best bet with daikon is to remove the outer skin, slice as thin as you can, soak in a cold saltwater bath for about 20 minutes, pat dry and then put them in any dish where you used sliced potatoes before. Perfection ensues and your family will be like, “What?!” But why tell them? It’s our little secret.

Speaking of secrets, the other day, I was taking a business call, when my high schoolers called for a ride home.My college-aged son ran out the door to get them.

Ten minutes later, my oldest walks through the door with the teens in tow, wearing nothing but his t-shirt, boxer shorts and boots. I said, “Did you seriously drive to get the kids in your underwear?!” And my college kid looks down slowly, and then at me with a big cheesy grin and says (in his best, “Are you Being Served” Ernest Granger, slow-mo, codgery British accent), “Damn… I seem to have forgotten my pants.”[He didn't. His natural state is in his underwear]

“You’d regret the pat-down if the officer pulled you over.”

“I guess I didn’t have my wallet either. I have no pockets.”

Faceplam. Thankfully he wore trousers and a dapper jacket when he spoke at a small graduation later that day. I can’t imagine how that event would have unfolded otherwise, especially with a buffet table nearby.

Things to keep in mind:

  • I sliced my veggies using a meat slicer for thin slices, but you can use a sharp knife.
  • Slice the veggies into rounds, not lengthwise.
  • You can lower fat content in this dish by using half and half instead of heavy white cream, along with lower fat cheeses.
  • This dish is vegetarian friendly, low carb, gluten free, and sugar free.
  • Daikon radishes stay a wee bit crunchy, so know that you’re not going to get a mooshy, smooshy potato. I like the texture, so if you don’t think of it as a potato (and slice it super thin), you’re going to be very happy.
  • I have not run the numbers yet because I am a naughty naughty monkey, but it’s low carb and a little goes a long way thanks to the decadence of the dish.
  • Want a little added color in your dish? Toss in some pepper jack. The colorful seeds/skins of the peppers lends pops of color throughout.
  • Make sure your kids consider pants when driving. They have pockets.

Daikon au Gratin

1/2 large daikon radish sliced thin, about 4 cups
1 cup thin-sliced onions
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup heavy white cream
2 cups shredded cheese
2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp dried chives
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper

Soak sliced daikon radish in cold, salted water for 20 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Arrange all sliced daikon in an ungreased 9X12” casserole dish.

Over medium heat, in a medium-large saucepan, cook onion in butter until transparent, stirring occasionally (just a few minutes). Add parsley, chives, garlic powder and pepper and stir, just until bubbling. Add cream and stir occasionally until heated through (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and worked into the sauce.Pour the thickened liquid over the vegetable.

Bake, covered, for 45 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-20 minutes uncovered to crust up the cheese slightly.

Makes 8 servings.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Sounds great! So what’s the difference between Daikon and regular radishes? I love the regular kind so I’m sure I’ll dig this.. just curious!

    • Hi, Moira! Daikon is a larger radish, and more oblong. You’re looking at a root vegetable that is the world’s biggest blonde carrot in appearance.

  2. Nikilito says:

    What happened to the squash, zucchini, and spinach in this recipe?

  3. Heather says:

    So do these taste spicy like radishes…or are they more mild?

    • Hi, Heather! These are definitely more mild. They have kind of that bite like radish in terms of the crispness, but baking takes much of that away. No spicy zing like a standard radish, though!

  4. I have been playing with this idea as well and if you want a softer texture (more potato like) you can simmer the daikon for about 10 minutes or so, then drain it and use like you would potato in the au gratin recipe.

    I am working on a variation of “potato pancakes” with daikon too and that is working out great.

    • What a great idea! I didn’t think about pre-cooking the daikon! Potato pancakes rock hard.

      • I will send the pancake recipe (with pictures) to your email in a few days. After many experiments, I finally have one I am totally happy with, they actually taste like potato pancakes, the kind made with leftover mashed potatoes.

  5. Cathriona Kelly says:

    hi – i made this the other night but added a few other veggies – in fact I may have been looking at a different version you had?? Anyhow it was a MASSIVE SUCCESS and all eaten up before I could take any pics!!
    Thank yum.

    • I am so so pleased! You make some pretty wonderful foods. I’ve seen the pictures this morning!

  6. I’m curious about your using a meat slicer to cut your daikon. Is it because it does a better job than a mandolin or food processor, or because it’s what you have available? I bought my first daikon and am looking forward to trying this.

    • I just like using a meat slicer because it’s what I have purchased for things like this (and roasts). I am a klutz, so I’m not sure I want to go near a mandolin, and I am so anal that I hate how uneven my knife-sliced wedges are.

  7. I am a klutz too, but I do use a mandoline but ONLY with the gloves I got from amazon. I can’t tell you how much of my skin they have preserved, lol.

  8. Michelle says:

    I’m not seeing the amounts of the spices you used. I’m not good at a pinch here and there! :0)

    • That was a fail on my part. I can’t believe I didn’t put those in! I corrected for the amounts, Michelle. Thank you for telling me.

  9. This looks great and I’m going to try it tomorrow.

    One other question, do you think that daikon cubes could be used in a beef stew instead of potatoes? I’ve been using cubed sweet potatoes and adding them in the last hour of cooking so they don’t go to mush. Would I have to treat daikon the same way? Beef stew with sweet potatoes is wonderful, but I’d like to have an alternative in case there aren’t sweet potatoes available. Or would it be better to avoid using this in stew altogether? Thank you so much for your sage advice!

    • I would say absolutely use in a stew! I would soak the cubes slightly in salted water for maybe 20 minutes to soak out some of the starch, drain, rinse and then add to the stew.

      • Thank you, Jamie. I did try these in a crock pot stew today and they were delicious. I didn’t soak them first, but will try that next time. I added them at the beginning of cooking, along with all of the other veggies and meat. They held their shape and softened slightly without falling apart, just as red potatoes would. Yum!

  10. Jamie,
    You mention squashes in the instructions but not in the ingredients.
    Can you clearvthis up for me please the onions are on the stove right now.
    Thanks.

    • Hi! There is no squash. I repeat..no squash.

      Sorry about that. I had copied this from a different recipe I had written, and I thought I had removed the mention of the other ingredients. Thanks so much for the catch!

  11. I just discovered Diakon this fall when everyone started talking about it. I love it! It keeps so well also. I bought 4 large ones at the farmers market for $4. Wow, cheap vegetable! They will probably go up this summer since they are a fall veg and cost much more because we all want them! Thanks Jamie for wonderful ideas. I’m making this tomorrow.

  12. Melinda Caldwell says:

    THanks for the tip of simmering it first. The first time I made it, it was delicious but crisp. Would like to try it softer. THANKS!

  13. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have found this recipe! I miss my potatoes so so much, and this totally filled the bill. I did boil the radish a few minutes before assembling the rest of the ingredients, and the end result was absolutely perfect. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  14. Hi, I thought I’d add to this thread.
    I’m very excited to try this recipe (though I’m going to use stock and creme fraiche rather than cream) In the UK this vegetable is known as MOOLI. I thought I’d add this to the thread because I’ve been looking for daikon for a while, spotted what looked right in the supermarket but it was called mooli, a quick check on wikipedia (dont you love smart phones) revealed that they are one and the same.

  15. Mooli… you are the best! I will add that to the recipe. Thank you, Jane!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] and use as pasta or fry like “potato patties”. You can also try it as a substitute for potatoes au gratin. I like this vegetable and you can find many recipes for it on the web. Just make sure to [...]

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