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Instructions* Click image to start slideshow.
Let's cut the vegetables. Cut the daikon radish into 6~7 cm (2.4"~2.8") cylinders. Peel the skin thickly with a knife. The thinly shredded daikon skin can be used for miso soup so don’t throw it away.
Slice the cylinders into 2~3 mm (0.1") slices vertically. Stack the slices on top of each other and shred into very thin strips.
The tip of the daikon has a pungent flavor so use the middle or upper middle part. Using the middle part of the daikon makes it easy to shred the slices. Put the daikon into a bowl.
Slice the carrot using diagonal cuts, making it almost the same length but slightly thinner than the daikon. The carrot is about 1/10 the amount of daikon so that the balance of red and white will be perfect.
Stack the slices and shred into thin strips.
Put it into the bowl. Add the salt and gently toss to coat evenly.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, let’s prepare the yuzu citrus. Thinly shave the yuzu peel with a knife.
Remove the bitter white pith with the tip of the knife. Press both edges of the peel onto the cutting board with your fingertips as shown so that you can easily remove the pith. Shred the yuzu peel into thin strips.
Cut the yuzu in half. Squeeze it with a citrus juicer, separating the juice.
Let’s make the Awasezu, vinegar mixture. Combine the sugar, honey, vinegar, yuzu juice and water. Mix with a spatula and dissolve the sugar and honey in the liquid.
Now, the vegetables are ready. The salt helps to draw the moisture out of the vegetables so they are able to soak up more of the Awasezu.
Tightly squeeze out the excess liquid, removing the salt as well.
Place the vegetables into the bowl of the vinegar mixture. Removing the liquid thoroughly allows them to absorb the vinegar mixture, increasing the refreshing texture. Add the yuzu peel and toss to coat evenly.
Press the vegetables into the bowl with the spatula, allowing them to soak in the vinegar mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Now that the vegetables have soaked in the vinegar mixture for a while, let's serve the Kohaku Namasu!
Remove the stem of the dried persimmon and cut it in half.
Remove the seeds, if there are any, and chop the persimmon into fine strips.
Toss the vegetables to coat with the vinegar sauce again. Before eating combine the persimmon and vegetables in another bowl.
Lightly mix and serve the Kohaku Namasu in a mound shape in a bowl.
This pickled daikon and carrot can be stored for a couple of days. It would be helpful to have a large amount of Kohaku Namasu in the fridge during the busy year-end and New Year holidays. We recommend adding the persimmon just before serving the dish but you can also soak it in the vinegar mixture with the vegetables. If persimmons are not available in your area, dried figs can be a good substitute. You can use lemon peel instead of the yuzu peel but be sure to use the lemon without any chemicals and adjust the amount to taste. Traditionally, white represents purity and red is said to ward off evil spirits so this is the perfect dish to start off the new year!