There’s an independent grocery store in my apartment building that I like to go to for last-minute items (it’s a bit pricey). I love having it there when I’m craving a snack (that’s a blessing and a curse) or if I forgot to get something on my big weekend grocery run.
This grocery store has the biggest daikon radishes ever. They’re almost two-feet long, really!
Every once in a while, I’ll pick one up in hopes of using it in a recipe – they spiralize so effortlessly. They’re literally the perfect diameter and texture.
However, after tasting the raw noodles, I’m turned off. The bitterness is overwhelming – they almost taste soapy. I’m actually unsure how people eat daikon radishes raw. Kudos to y’all!
A lightbulb went off and I thought to make rice with them. After ricing them, I realized that that process left for a lot of excess moisture. Rats! Luckily, I squeezed the water out with my hands and the water came right out! Phew, disaster averted.
Still bitter, so I literally opened up my pantry and there it was, staring me in the face: gochugaru. Gochuga-what? Gochugaru is red chili pepper, dried and ground into a coarse powder. It’s a Korean spice that’s used to make kimchee (or, kimchi.) I had recently bought it here on Amazon, after many failed attempts finding it at grocery stores near me.
Thank you, Amazon Prime – thank you!
I’m currently working on a kimchi recipe (with cucumber noodles), but what better way to experiment than use the spice another way? Ever since Molly Yeh introduced me to it, I’ve been dying to use it in a recipe. Side note – if you’ve never checked out her blog, do it – she’s a former Brooklynite percussionist that now lives on a farm. Crazy.
Although the gochugaru would give the daikon radish a spicy kick, it needed actual flavor. I wanted to keep it subtle, so I went with a tiny bit of ginger and some garlic. I threw in chopped scallions and topped it with a fried egg.
It brings me to tears that my camera died and I couldn’t take pictures of me cutting into this egg and the yolkiness that erupts over the fluffy rice. Literally, tears.
There’s not much more I can say but that daikon radish rice might be better than sweet potato rice. Don’t quote me on that, but daikon rice looks more like rice and has a very similar consistency, so you really feel like you’re beating the system.
Might I add that the calorie count on daikon radishes is negligible? The calorie count on a cup of daikon rice is less than 45!
If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is.
Please please please make this – and if you don’t have gochugaru, use regular red pepper flakes. But, if you can wait a couple of days, order it through Amazon. Then, when my kimchi recipes comes out, you’ll be ready to go!
Have you ever cooked with gochugaru before?