Log in

11 May 2011 @ 09:36 pm
Spring Green: Daikon Salad with Wasabi & Ginger Vinaigrette and Sliced Nori  
We recently made a trip to San Francisco’s Japantown to pick up snack food that we prefer to buy there. Before shopping, we sat down with some sushi in the Peace Plaza enjoying some sun and the cherry blossoms.

As we bit into a piece of maki, the earthy crunch of daikon radish popped out, complimented by the bite of wasabi and sweet saltiness of nori. We began to wonder if we couldn’t make this into something else to go with a more western style dinner we had planned.

A side salad seemed like the best way to go, keeping the simple flavors together while making a vibrant compliment to a main course. We opted to dice the daikon and make a vinaigrette with ginger and wasabi. All the ingredients were less than a block away at Nijiya market. The result is earthy and spicey and at the same time recalls the maki roll we had in the plaza.

Daikon Salad with Wasabi Ginger Vinaigrette and Sliced Nori

The first spin of the sauce was a little dull for us so we doubled the wasabi ratio from what we had planned. (Use your best judgment here since we prefer lots off wasabi) It also needed salt badly. We considered using tamari for the smokey flavor but we didn’t want to loose the bright green color of the sauce. So we opted to throw in a few pinches of kosher salt and some smoked sea salt we had on hand. Since we had picked up some snack nori, we cut that up with some scissors for garnish. As the nori absorbed the sauce, it softened and it’s flavor really blossomed, resulting in a beautifully flavored salad.

1 large daikon radish, peeled and diced
1 stalk of spring garlic, minced
Kosher and smoked salt as needed
2 tablespoons wasabi
2 ounces pickled ginger
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup sesame oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 sheets of snack tamari nori

1) Mixed diced daikon and green garlic together with both salts. Set aside.
2) Puree wasabi, ginger, mirin and oils together until emulsified.
3) Mix sauce with daikon and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
4) Using scissors, finely cut nori into strips and if desired into smaller dice.
5) Serve with fish or chicken.