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Roasted daikon casserole

June 25, 2012

A favorite dim sum dish of mine is the turnip cake. The exterior is extremely crispy from being fried, while the inside is soft and flavorful from the meat that was steamed into it. Also, it is unfortunately very time consuming because the radish has to be cooked, then steamed with the rice flour and other ingredients, and then pan-fried. So I took a shortcut.

Daikon radish is less pungent and slightly sweeter than the tiny, round red western variety. It is often grated in Asian cuisines to make pickled salads, or sliced into thick rounds to be cooked with some meaty dish. I find I like daikon the most when paired with some umami flavor, such as mushroom, soy sauce, or meat.

Missing the labor- and time-intensive turnip cake, I figured I’d get my craving down with some grated root vegetable roasted in a casserole to achieve that crunchy exterior, while maintaining a soft interior. So I made one with daikon.

I shredded up the daikon and salted to rid it of as much water as I could drain from it. After sauteing my ground beef on the stovetop and mixing it with the other ingredients, I baked it for 45 minutes. Definitely a lot less painful than the several hours needed for turnip cake.

Ingredients
2 lb daikon
1.5 tsp salt, or to taste
1 lb sausage or ground meat
1 large bunch green onion, about 6 shoots
5 eggs

Directions
(1) Grate the daikon and put all the pieces into a colander. Add salt, toss, and wait for water to drip from the vegetable, about half an hour.
(2) Meanwhile, saute the meat and break into tiny pieces. Set aside to cool.
(3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
(4) Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the green onions into a 9×13″ baking dish. Break eggs into the dish, and add in the meat if fairly cool, to the point where it would not immediately cook the egg in the baking dish.
(5) Press down on the shredded radish pile, which should release the water from the holes in the colander. After wringing out enough of the water, add to the baking dish. Mix everything, preferably with hands.
(6) Place the casserole into the oven for 45-60 minutes, depending on when the top browns nicely. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Dai Dai

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