Daikon leaves often end up in the garbage, even though they contain many health benefits. They are indeed a real concentrate of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and trace elements.
The leaves of radish correspond to the tuft of leaves that cover the bunches of daikon, mainly the pink radish.
The daikon is a root vegetable whose flesh is white but whose skin color can range from pinkish white to scarlet red. Some varieties have a round root and others an elongated root. It is a subtly pungent vegetable that can be eaten both raw and cooked.
Daikon leaves are edible and have a slightly pungent taste, somewhat reminiscent of watercress and nettles.
Are daikon leaves edible?
Of course you can eat daikon leaves. In soup for example: you put them in cold water slightly salted, you add a little potato, a small onion if you want and you cook at a very low heat not to destroy the vitamins then you mix.
You can also eat them in salad provided that the leaves are very young and tender otherwise it would be too pungent.
Daikon leaves are rich in pro-vitamin A like all green vegetables.
The health and nutritional benefits of daikon leaves
Daikon leaves are a real concentrate of micro-nutrients. They contain indeed :
- vitamin B9 (folic acid)
- vitamin C if eaten raw
Daikon leaves are also rich in carotenoids and polyphenols, very powerful antioxidants.
However, they can contain a large amount of pesticides, due to the contact surface they offer. This is why it is recommended to choose organic daikon if you want to consume the leaves.
How to store daikon leaves?
Radish leaves, as well as pink radishes, can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator crisper. However, the ideal is to consume them the same day of their purchase, because with time, the leaves fade and quickly lose their nutritional virtues.
How to cook daikon leaves?
Daikon leaves are usually washed, dried and coarsely cut before being cooked in butter, in a casserole or in a frying pan. They can also be cooked in a large volume of boiling water for 20 minutes, especially with potatoes and onions, to make delicious velvety soups with a subtle taste.
How to choose the right daikon leaves?
Daikon leaves should be green. They should be firm, brittle and not wilted or spongy. Any yellowed leaves should be removed.
Varieties of daikon leaves
The varieties of radish leaves are directly related to the type of daikon they cover, depending on whether they are grown in the field or in a greenhouse.
If the taste and the skin of the radish differ from one variety to another, the daikon leaves, always green with red veins, all have a slightly spicy herbaceous taste.
How to cook daikon leaves?
If daikon leaves are mainly used for the realization of soups, they are also used in cooking to bring an original touch to omelettes, but also to flans and potato cakes for example.
Daikon leaves can also be used in muffins or traditional cakes with ham, olives and Emmental cheese for example.