When white daikon radish went on sale for only 9 cents per pound, I made soup, among several other dishes (see a list of daikon radish recipes here). My family, John, and John’s mom really liked this soup. This soup is mild, light, and very versatile. I’ve included a few variations of the recipe below. I made this broth using pork bones.
White Daikon Radish Soup Recipe
makes 8 servings; adapted from Sugar Baking Blog
Note: There are a few different options for making the broth for this soup. If you want this soup to resemble Chinese soups, make the broth using pork bones. To resemble Japanese soups, use homemade dashi. For a quick and easy version, simply use boxed chicken broth.
1 large or 2 small to medium sized white daikon radishes, peeled
1 (227 grams/8 ounces) package of fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 bunch of fresh spinach and/or 1 small handful of fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (Note: The original recipe only called for spinach, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I used herbs instead. I found that the herbs imparted great flavour to the soup that the spinach probably wouldn’t have. Whether you use spinach or herbs or both, they add great colour to this soup.)
approximately 3 pounds of pork bones or 2 litres of dashi (see recipe here) or 2 litres of chicken broth
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin slices (Note: The original recipe also called for fresh tofu, cut into cubes. If you are using tofu, add it at the same time that you add the chicken.)
3 thin slices of fresh ginger, approximately 1 inch by 2 inches in size
1 stalk green onion, sliced thinly (optional for garnish)
coarse Kosher sea salt
soy sauce (optional)
ground white pepper
If you are using pork bones to make this soup, start by placing the pork bones in a large stock pot with enough water to just cover the bones. Bring this to a rolling boil over high heat and allow it to boil for up to 5 minutes. Then dump out the water, wash all dirt and debris from the pork bones under cool running water, and clean the pot. Then place the pork bones back into the pot, add the ginger, and add enough water to cover all of the pork bones. You should have at least 9 cups of water in the pot. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer, covered, for 2 to 3 hours.
If you are using prepared dashi or chicken broth to make this soup, simply place the stock into a large pot with the ginger slices and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, use a large, sharp knife to cut your daikon radishes in half, lengthwise. Then cut the radish halves crosswise into slices that are approximately 1/2 inch thick. If desired, and depending on how large your daikon radishes are, you can then cut these radish slices in half so that you have triangular shaped pieces of daikon radish. Once your stock is ready, use tongs to remove the pork bones (if applicable). You can serve the pork bones separately with soy sauce if desired. Skim off the fat from the surface of the soup. Then add the radishes to the stock, and bring it back to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, covered, until the radishes are soft, approximately 20 minutes. About 5 minutes prior to the radishes reaching the desired consistency, add the sliced mushrooms. Continue to simmer until the mushrooms are soft. You can add more water if you prefer a larger ratio of water to ingredients. Add salt and/or soy sauce and ground white pepper to taste.
Then, just prior to serving, bring the soup back up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the sliced chicken and spinach leaves (if using), and allow the soup to come back to a rolling boil, covered. Then immediately remove the pot from heat. The chicken should be just cooked through. Do not overcook the chicken. Stir in the cilantro or parsley if using, and immediately ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with sliced green onions if desired. This soup is best enjoyed while piping hot.