One of my favorite root vegetables is the Daikon radish. Also called an Asian radish, or Chinese, Japanese etc radish, this very large, tuberous root is used in plenty of traditional Asian recipes. However this recipe for daikon fries is not Asian inspired at all. Instead it’s a main ingredient substitution for your classic pommes frites.
If you have never had a daikon radish before you may be surprised that it is a radish at all. Compared to the classic golf ball sized red radishes the daikon variety looks more like an oversized, bloated parsnip! However with size comes the great ability to make radish fries.
This recipe is a low carb alternative to regular potato French fries, but remember this is still a deep fried dish. It is by no means ‘healthy’…just healthier than some alternatives. Not to mention the fries pair extremely well with some soy sauce mixed with Japanese mayonnaise!
What Is A Daikon Radish?
A Daikon radish is a long, white tuber that is part of the radish, or Raphanus, genus. It originated in Northern China but is used culinarily all over Asia, and recently, the West.
An interesting thing about the daikon radish is that the flavor profile is different in different parts of the radish. The bottom third for example tends to have more peppery or spicy notes, while the top third is more hard and watery. The middle has a great balance of both as well as a bit of sweetness. For this reason the middle of the daikon is often the most desired.
How To Make Daikon Radish French Fries
Because this is a deep fried recipe I suggest just using the whole radish. There is no need to cut it into thirds based on flavor profile; That is for more delicate recipes like oden or raw salads.
Ingredients For Daikon Fries
- 1 large Daikon Radish
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 5 cloves Garlic – minced
- 1-2 tbsp Flour
- 200 grams Potato Starch – you won’t use all of it, but you need a large amount so the fries are easier to coat
- Salt – to taste
- Black Pepper – freshly cracked, to taste
- Oil – for frying. Amount depends on the size of your pan or pot that you use for frying.
The first step is to peel and cut the Daikon radish into fry shape. If you have made regular potato french fries then it is essentially the same shape and size. I would recommend not making shoestring daikon fries as they have a hard time holding their weight while frying.
In a large bowl mix together the daikon fry pieces along with the soy sauce and minced garlic. Give everything a mix so that the fries all get a little seasoned, then set aside for 15 minutes.
If there is any liquid left in the bottom of the bowl, such as the soy sauce that didn’t get absorbed or any radish moisture that seeped out, get rid of it. Then add the flour to the seasoned daikon radish fries and give everything a good toss so every piece is lightly dusted with flour.
Set up a frying station. In a shallow pan add a couple inches of sunflower oil, or any high smoke point oil you like. Get the temperature to 165C or 325F. Also set up a shallow dish with the potato starch. Take a fry and dust it with the potato starch, then put it in the oil. You can do them in groups, just make sure the daikon strips don’t get stuck together (this is why we drained the excess liquid before adding the flour).
It is okay if the daikon are a bit crowded in the pan as you fry, but just make sure that they never stack on top of each other. Fry for roughly a minute before removing with a slotted spoon or ‘spider’ to a paper towel lined bowl. The frying is mostly to cook the flour/starch outside since I prefer the inside being firm rather than soggy.
After removing the fries from the oil give them a sprinkling of salt and black pepper if you like. Then simply plate and serve along with your favorite main dish. In this case I made them to pair with my Japanese inspired Kamo Negi, or Duck With Leeks.
Daikon Fries Seasoning Options
If salt and black pepper is a bit too boring for you, here are a few other daikon fries seasoning options you might enjoy:
- Sweet Smoked Paprika
- Chinese Five Spice Powder
- Freshly squeezed Lime and Chili Flakes
- Lemon and Oregano
- Parmesan Garlic
I also serve them with a delicious Soy Sauce Mayonnaise which uses my delicious Kewpie substitute homemade Japanese mayonnaise. This is the same dipping sauce I often pair with grilled or blistered shishito peppers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to use the flour and potato starch in this recipe or can I fry the daikon directly?
A: You can fry the strips without the flour and starch, but they will be more flimsy and without the crispy exterior that this recipe provides.
Q: Some of my daikon strips are not evenly sized, is this a problem?
A: No, the daikon fry pieces do not need to be exactly the same. The idea of uniformity is just so that they look nice when presented, as well as have a similar frying time. However if some are a little larger or smaller it is no big deal.
- 1 Knife
- 1 Pan for frying
- 1 Bowl for marinading
- 1 large Daikon Radish
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 5 cloves Garlic minced
- 1-2 tbsp Flour
- 200 grams Potato Starch you won't use all of it but you need a large amount so the fries are easier to coat
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper freshly cracked, to taste
- Oil for frying. Amount depends on the size of your pan or pot that you use for frying.
- Peel and cut your daikon radish into french fry sticks and place them in a bowl.
- Into the bowl add the soy sauce and minced garlic and give everything a mix so the radish sticks will marinade well. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Drain any liquid from the bowl that has pooled at the bottom and add the flour. Give everything a toss so the sticks are lightly dusted with flour.
- Set up a frying station. A pan with a few inches of oil at 325F or 165C. A shallow dish with the potato starch, and your bowl of marinated and floured daikon radish.
- Take some of the radish sticks and gently roll them in potato starch. Shake off the excess and then put them into the oil. Fry for about a minute, or until the edges look golden. Golden brown might be a little too cooked, since the outside will darken after removing from the oil from the residual heat.
- When cooked move the fries to a paper towel lined bowl and sprinkle over some salt and freshly cracked black pepper (or any seasonings you like – see article for 5 alternative seasoning options). Enjoy!