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Boiled Takuan
Popular in Toyama, Fukui, Ishikawa, Kyoto, and Shiga
Date:21, Oct, 2019
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Today I'm talking about Boiled Takuan, a local food in Japan. Where is it popular? We can usually find them have Boiled Takuan in Toyama, Fukui, Ishikawa, Kyoto, and Shiga. They call it Zeitaku-ni in Shiga, call it Irigoki or Irikogu in Toyama, and call it Omokuji in a part of Ishikawa.



Zeitaku-ni in Shiga
File: Zeitakuni.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on March 1, 2011)

What? What is Takuan? It is a pickled preparation of daikon (radish). Not only in Japan, but also popular in Korea and Taiwan. Why do they pickle? One is making it delicious. Daikon becomes sweeter out of being pickled. You pickle it, and it becomes sugar-rich for amylolysis. Another is keeping it long. Japanese people mostly get Takuan at supermarkets or convenience stores today. In old days, however, they say every house had each way to pickle vegetables when farmers weren't rare in Japan.

How do we make Takuan? The first step is hanging radishes for basking in the sun. After several days, you must get to take the next step. Put the dried radishes in a pickling crock and covered with a mixture of salt, rice bran, and others like kombu. How long? As you like. Some do it for a month and others for several months. Finished. Takuan looks kind of yellow-colored, doesn't it? Daikon is (mostly) the harvest in fall. So they usually start making Takuan in the beginning of winter.

Then, some of them boil the Takuan they pickle for a long time (winter to early summer). How do we make it? First, cut the Takuan radish in round thin slices. Put them into a pan filled with water for salt removal. How long? About 30 to 50 seconds. Then, change the water and boil them until becoming soft. Take care about air ventilation because it usually emits a foul odor while boiling. And they say they change water some times in the boiling.

When the long-pickled Takuan gets soft, change the water again. And add soy-sauce, oil, and dashi (Japanese soup stock). How much? As you like, but usually about a tablespoonful. Boil it. Stop the fire when soy-sauce soaks into the slices enough. Add white sesame seeds and round slices of red pepper on them. Finished. They say they use miso and sake lees instead of soy-sauce in a part of Toyama.

Take care! The boiled Takuan can't keep long because you remove the salt from Takuan. How long can it keep? About a day, I suppose. Quickly have it, please.