If for some reason you find yourself itching to make a pasta substitute out of a vegetable, your first instinct might be to reach for a zucchini. BUT STOP. There’s a far superior option available for veggie noodling: the daikon.
You could be forgiven for not being familiar with the daikon. Although it’s common in it’s native Asia, here your main interaction with this giant radish is likely in the form of pickles at sushi, or maybe floating in your ramen. But this giant white radish deserves a second look.
For one thing, it’s nutritious. It’s a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It’s also packed with dietary fibre, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and copper. In one serving you’re only getting around 60 calories so daikon packs quite a nutritional punch. If you’re cutting back on carbs, the daikon is your friend with only 14 grams per serving.
For another thing, daikon noodles (aka doodles) look just like rice noodles!
Daikon is usually mild but can have a slightly bitter taste. Once cooked, they lose their bitterness, but if you are very opposed to radish flavour, cooking the doodles with a flavourful sauce can help. They soak up flavours beautifully. They are also great raw, in a noodle salad bowl type situation.
Doodle Pad Thai
- 2 whole eggs
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1 tbsp peanut oil (or oil of choice)
- 350 gr package firm tofu, cubed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup diced green onions
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro + whole cilantro leaves to garnish
- 4 cups raw spiralized daikon
- 4-6 cooked tail-on prawns
For the sauce:
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp chili sauce
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- Gently beat the eggs and set aside.
- Whisk together all sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Crush peanuts and set aside
- Heat half the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the tofu and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tofu is crispy on the outside – about 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and set the tofu aside on a plate. Immediately add in the daikon noodles, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat the noodles. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until daikon has softened.
- Transfer the cooked daikon to a large bowl and add the other ½ tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic and green onions into the pan, stirring constantly to avoid burning and cook for about 1 minute, until the green onions soften. Add in the sauce and then the flour, turn the heat back up to medium and whisk quickly so that the flour dissolves and the sauce thickens.
- Once the sauce is thick, add back in the daikon noodles and toss to combine thoroughly, tossing until noodles are completely coated in the sauce.
- Add in the tofu, eggs, and half the ground peanuts. Cook for about 30 seconds, tossing to fully combine.
- Plate onto dishes and garnish with cilantro leaves, prawns, the rest of the green onions and the rest of the ground peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.
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