Healthy Cooking

This Refreshing Daikon Salad Is the Perfect Healthy Side Dish

Allie Flinn

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Looking for a fresh salad to add to your rotation? Try this spicy daikon salad on for size.

The types of side dishes that give your main dish the balance and flavor to take it from “good” to “I am eating this every night” tend to also be the kinds of sides that have you yelling “but at what cost?” into the abyss of your oven. (Read: they’re complicated.) Look no further for the perfect easy side dish to balance a heavy, rich main course—this recipe for musaengchae (a Korean spicy radish salad). In this episode of Cook With Us, Mina Park, who co-owns the Los Angeles restaurants Baroo and Shiku with her husband, shows us how to make this flavorful salad. “This is a very classic side dish, or banchan, in the Korean repertoire,” she says.

“Our main ingredient is this daikon radish. In Korean we call it mu. It’s a staple ingredient in Korean culture and many other Asian cultures,” she says. (Indeed, Park uses it in several other recipes, including doenjang stew and radish pancakes.) The recipe calls for other Korean culinary staples, such as garlic (“I think we’re known for having very garlicky food,” Park says) and gochugaru, a type of red chili flakes. Park notes that in a Korean grocery store you’ll typically find two types of chili flakes: coarsely-ground and finely-ground. The former is typically used for making kimchi. Park opts for the finely-ground gochugaru for this spicy radish salad recipe because the recipe is meant to be quick and the finely-ground version mixes easier.

“It’s really one of my favorite banchan. We always have a jar of it in the fridge, and if I have a hot bowl with rice and roasted seaweed that’s really all I need,” Park says. “This dish also pairs very well with anything heavy because it’s so light and fresh.” In other words, it’s a refreshing salad that helps balance dishes with rich ingredients. It also “gets better and better as the days go by” because the ingredients continue to marinate. Get the full spicy radish salad recipe by watching the video.

Daikon salad recipe

Ingredients
500g mu (daikon radish), peeled, julienned
3 green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
2 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1. Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly.

2. Keep at room temperature for one hour and refrigerate until ready to eat. Best served after a day.

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