Sweet Pickled Daikon Takuan is the best combination of sweet, salty, and tangy! You may know these Japanese-style pickles as takuan pickles. It’s a quick pickle to make, add vinegar and sea salt sugar and allow it to sit at room temperature for a bit, and it’s ready to eat. The pickled daikon can be eaten alone or along with some sushi rolls. No food coloring is needed; the turmeric powder provides a beautiful yellow color.
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This recipe combines many healthy ingredients. From the fat-burning qualities of Daikon to the anti-cancer qualities of Turmeric, this is a great little recipe.
I’m happy to say that I had these Japanese pickles most of my life.
My auntie made it and frequently shared a jar with our family. She was like our grocery store for certain things. But, once my parents moved away, and we didn’t see my auntie as often, she kindly passed along her original recipe to my mom.
So, this recipe comes from my Auntie. I find it a bit bittersweet since she passed away a couple of years ago, and I wish she could’ve seen this post.
So, I’m dedicating this post to my Auntie Emy as a thank you for the many jars of Takuan and her great recipe.
Sweet Pickled Daikon
Ok, let’s take a look at the ingredients more closely.
Japanese Daikon Radish
It is technically a radish. It is an East-Asian variety of root vegetables. It is mild in taste, and the root is long and thick. It is also known as Icicle Radish because of its shape.
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the Turmeric plant. And I didn’t know that it is the main spice in curry and is used to color cheese, mustard, and butter.
It is a mild acid from fruits, grains, and alcoholic beverages. It undergoes a slow fermentation process. You can substitute the white vinegar with rice vinegar if you like.
What is Takuan and Tsukemono?
Ok, we are going deep into the weeds on this topic. Growing up, my parents called this sweet pickled daikon Tsukemono. Well, as a child, I incorrectly called skih-MO-no. But, anyway, Tsukemono, according to Wikipedia, is pickled anything and mostly vegetables. Japanese tsukemono is served with rice or as a side dish to a main meal.
Takuan is pickled daikon radish. Its roots are Korean, but it is popular in Japanese cooking.
Added Health Benefits of Daikon Pickles
Oh my goodness, there are so many great things about some of these ingredients. Where do I even begin? I’ll give a general idea of which ingredients have some great benefits.
Turmeric, Daikon, and Vinegar
Daikon, Turmeric, and Vinegar
Vinegar, Turmeric, and Daikon
Prevents Some Types of Cancer
Turmeric and Daikon
How to Make Pickled Radish (Takuan)
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Daikon Radish (found in Asian grocery stores and your local grocery store)
- Granulated Sugar
- White Vinegar
- Ground Turmeric
- A Mason Jar (I use the quart jars)
Step 1 – Peel Daikon
The first step is to peel the skin off the daikon (Japanese radish). Then thinly slice the daikon with a mandoline. Place the thin slices of daikon n a big bowl.
Step 2 – Make Pickling Liquid
Mix sugar, salt, vinegar, and ground turmeric and stir until the sugar dissolves. Next, add the sauce to the sliced daikon.
Step 3 – Soak Radish
Cover the daikon with the sugar mixture and allow it to sit for a couple of hours.
Step 4 – Jar the Daikon
Place daikon slices in a jar, then add and top with liquid.
Sweet Pickled Daikon Takuan
- 3 ½ pounds Icicle Radish (Daikon)
- 3 cups sugar
- ⅓ cup salt
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Peel the skin off the daikon. Thinly slice the daikon with a mandoline. Place slices in a big bowl.
- Mix sugar, salt, vinegar, and turmeric and stir until the sugar dissolves. Next, add the mixture to the daikon.
- Cover daikon with sugar mixture and let sit for a couple of hours.
- Place the Takuan in clean two 8 ounce mason jars and refrigerate.
Some More Japanese Dishes:
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Do You Eat Sweet Pickled Daikon?
We top our bowl of rice with Takuan. I load it up since the crunch goes nicely with the sticky or sushi rice. Its great crunchy texture makes it a delicious accompaniment to rice. Also, it can be a side dish to a Japanese meal of Salmon Teriyaki! Ok, now I’m getting super hungry. If you are like me, I snack on it once it is ready and eat it straight out of the bowl.
How Do You Know it is Ready to Eat?
This pickling process doesn’t take too long. The daikon soaks up the juice and turns a little translucent yellow. The white radish will turn a pale yellow when it is ready.
Do I Need to Add Artificial Coloring?
There is no need to add coloring since the turmeric gives the radish a bright yellow color.
The recipe calls for a lot of Diakon. Is that too much?
Some of you wonder about the amount of radish this recipe calls for. Like most vegetables that are pickled, they end up reducing down. I guess the mixture of salt and sugar goes into the radish, and the water comes out. So the size of the daikon slices will get smaller. But, if you like, you can reduce the recipe and make a small batch.
Can I use kosher salt instead of sea salt?
Yes! 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt equal 1 teaspoon of sea salt. So adjust the recipe accordingly.
Is Icicle Radish the same as Daikon?
Yes, I believe that Icicle Radish is the English name and Daikon is the Japanese name.
Where can I find Daikon?
If you have a Japanese grocery store near you, buy it there. They will have large daikon radishes and it will be a lot cheaper. If not, Whole Foods carries it, and sometimes, our local grocery store will carry it.
How to Slice the Daikon
I have my grandmother’s Asian mandoline. It works great, but I cringe every time I use it since it is so dangerous. I suggest you invest in a nice, safe and modern one. Here are a few, if you are interested, Mandolines.
How Long will Pickled Takuan Last?
I noticed that after about 3-4 weeks, the Takuan begins to look old and darker. But it technically should last a long time in the fridge since it is pickled.
I Hope You Like Our Family Recipe!
I wasn’t going to post this sweet pickled daikon recipe since it is pretty unique and obscure. But, when I shared it in my Instagram stories, I found many people loved talking about it and even asked for the recipe.
So, I promised them I would post it on the blog. I also love it when my brothers ask for our family recipes. I can point them to my blog. It is so convenient to have all my recipes over here, and we now have a family cookbook that will never go away.
Have a lovely weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by!
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Thanks for sharing your family recipe. I grew up eating this and still pronounce it wrong. I never thought to make it myself. It will be fun to make this with my kids.
That is too funny that you pronounced it wrong also! I hope you like our recipe. It is so easy to make!
3 cups of sugar?!!
Please tell me this is a typo.
Maybe try it with less? This is my auntie’s recipe, and I love how it turns out. Let me know how your changes work!
We also grew up pronouncing it skimono. Funny I immediately scrolled down to see who the author was when I read about your Auntie Emy as I had a great aunt named Emy who we lovingly called Auntie Em.
Oh my goodness, that is so cool you had an Auntie Emy! Well, I hope you have a chance to make the Takuan. Btw, I still love calling it skimono, maybe that is a kid version?!
How soon can this be eaten? Some recipes say wait days or weeks but I love take an and don’t want to wait that long! Thanks for sharing!
I wait a couple of hours! Of course it better the next day, but I can’t wait either! 🙂
I don’t think that pronunciation is in error… “technically speaking” perhaps, but we still call it “skih-MO-no”; actually we use an additional syllable: “skih-nah-MO-no”. My grandfather was born in Japan, and that’s what he always called it. I don’t speak a lick of Japanese, but I’m thinking maybe that the way we say it applies specifically to pickled diakon, and possibly tsukemono is a more general term that applies to all pickled vegetables? No clue, but I found that interesting that we weren’t the only ones using that term. Anyways, figured I share and say thanks for the recipe!
Wow, thanks for your comment. So, I guess we pronounced it correctly. I don’t speak Japanese, but I do know the words that a child would know. 🙂 I’m happy you found my blog and shared about your grandfather! My auntie’s recipe is tasty.
By the way, I just made it for our New Year’s celebration. Unfortunately, I could only order three pounds of daikon, so I halved the recipe. It was still tasty. Happy New Year to you and your family!
Simple recipe I had to add in a bit more spice to it like peppercorns. Bay leaves cinnamon stick and bird eye chilli with a sprinkle of gochug sprinkle I like my spicy sweet and sour
Hi Mr. M,
Oh wow, you did spice up the recipe, and I love that! Thanks so much for your amazing rating! We love this recipe, and I always have a jar of it in the fridge!
Hi! Could you tell me, what kind of vinegar is better? Thank you in advance and take care about your self
I use regular Heines Vinegar, it works great!
Nice recipe, but why do you food bloggers so often provide recipes for pounds and pounds of the resulting product? I make takuan every several weeks in small amounts suitable for my wife and I. You make enough to feed the neighborhood. It would be ‘nice’ if you provided some portion sizes to save us the trouble.
On the recipe you can change the portion levels right next to the word “serving”. This will then allow you to make as much or as little as you would like. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the inspiring recipe. I’ve followed your recipe but eventually evolved mine into this very simple, yummy one. https://barbara4tech.wordpress.com/2021/09/08/recipe-home-made-hawaiian-style-takuan/
Glad to hear my recipe has inspired you. And thanks for your recipe, can’t wait to try it out.