If you are a lover of greens, you are in for a treat. Daikon greens are one of my favorites. They are tender, kind of like turnip greens, and have a mild flavor.
Daikon greens can be a little hard to come by. They are rarely sold in bunches like other greens. The most simple and common way is to find them still attached to the daikon radish root! However, a lot of grocers cut these fabulous greens off and only sell the radish. You may need to do a little sleuthing, but it’s worth it. My local natural food store sets the greens aside in the back because enough people come in asking for them. Often, if you get them this way, they’re free. Yay!
Look for greens that are bright green and perky. Green leaves that are starting to yellow or look wilted are too old and won’t have as much nutritional value or flavor as fresher ones.
I like to use as much of the plant as possible, so I cut the stems and throw them in. Often the stems are tender all the way to the root, but if the daikon is more mature this may not be the case. Use your best judgement on this. You can separate the stems from the leaves and cut them small. Add them in the beginning with the onions if you like to give them more cooking time. The stems add more nutrition to your dish than just the leaves. Minerals are more concentrated in the stems.
If you do have the root and the greens, you can also make this roots and tops recipe. For a lovely meal serve these greens with brown rice and aduki beans and nishime. You can also use daikon greens in this udon noodle dish.
Looking for a recipe for the daikon radish? Try daikon rounds with mirin.
Sautèed Daikon Greens with Onion, Garlic and Lemon
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 onion, cut in thin half-moons
pinch of sea salt
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped small
3 bunches daikon greens (1 bunch is the amount from 1 radish), washed and chopped
a few slices of fresh lemon
1. Heat a large sautè pan on medium heat. Add the oil. Add the onion and sea salt as soon as a little piece gently sizzles in the oil. Sautè, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until onion starts getting translucent.
2. Add the garlic and sautè for 2 minutes.
3. Add the daikon greens and stir until the greens get coated with the oil and onions. Add a Tbsp or two of water. Cover and let cook until tender, 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Add squeezes of lemon juice when serving.