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A pile of daikon radishes.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphanus
Species: R. sativus
Variety: R. sativus var. longipinnatus[1]
Trinomial name
Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus

Daikon (from Japanese ダイコン (daikon ?), literally "large root"), Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, is a mild-flavored, very large, white East Asian radish. Despite being known most commonly by its Japanese name, it did not originate in Japan, but rather in continental Asia.

Although there are many varieties of daikon, the most common in Japan, the Aokubi-daikon, has the shape of a giant carrot, approximately 20 to 35 cm (7.9 to 14 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter. One of the most unusually shaped varieties of daikon is the turnip-shaped Sakurajima-daikon often grows as large as 50 cm (20 in) in diameter and weighs as much as 45 kg (99 lb) cultivated in Kagoshima Prefecture.[2]

The flavour is generally rather mild compared to smaller radishes.



Sakurajima daikon

The variety 'Long White Icicle' is available as seed in Britain, and will grow very successfully in Southern England, producing roots resembling a parsnip by midsummer in good garden soil in an average year.


In Chinese cuisine, turnip cake and chai tow kway are made with daikon. In Korean cuisine, kkakdugi and nabak kimchi use the vegetable. In Japanese cuisine, dishes made with daikon include takuan and bettarazuke.


The roots can be stored for some weeks without the leaves if lifted and kept in a cool dry place. If left in the ground the texture tends to become woody, but the storage life of untreated whole roots is not long.

Nutritional information

Daikon is very low in food energy. A 3 ounce (85 g) serving contains only 18 Calories (75 kJ) but provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Daikon also contains the active enzyme myrosinase.


  1. ^ Mish, Frederick C., Editor in Chief. “Daikon.” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. 9th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1985. ISBN 0-87779-508-8, ISBN 0-87779-509-6 (indexed), and ISBN 0-87779-510-X (deluxe).
  2. ^ The New official guide: Japan. Japan National Tourist Organization. 1975. p. 837.  

External links


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