Carrot and daikon salad

(Debra Samuels for The Boston Globe)
October 14, 2009

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Serves 4

Light vinegared salads, known in Japan as sunomono, can be made with most any vegetable. In Shizuo Tsuji’s “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art,’’ the author pairs carrot and daikon radish in a light and refreshing dish with a sweet and sour dressing called amazu (the word looks like shorthand for amazing - and it is). Salt shreds of deep orange carrot and white daikon radish to release their liquid, then knead the vegetables to create icicle-like shards of daikon. The dressing is made from mild rice vinegar, sugar, and water heated and then cooled. Toss it with the crunchy vegetables and refrigerate the dish for at least 30 minutes (it’s even more flavorful if left overnight). Traditionally, the salad is served in small plates but add this mixture to a bowl of salad greens and you have an appealing variation.

1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch-by- 1/2-inch matchsticks
1 medium (1 pound) daikon radish, cut into 2-inch-by- 1/2-inch matchsticks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1. In a large bowl combine the carrot and daikon radish matchsticks. Add the salt and toss lightly. After several minutes, mix and lightly knead the vegetables with your hands. Working over a colander set in a bowl, gather up the vegetables in your hands and squeeze out the liquid. Rinse and dry the bowl. Place the vegetables in it.

2. In a glass bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, and water. Heat in a microwave for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves. Alternatively, heat the mixture in a small saucepan. Cool to room temperature.

3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the vinegar mixture onto the vegetables. Mix with your hand and then squeeze the liquid from the vegetables. Discard the liquid.

4. Add the remaining dressing to the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to two days. Debra Samuels