Daikon radish isn’t always easy to come by, but there are several options to use in its place.
Asian cuisine loves daikon and I love Asian cuisine! Therefore, I regularly hunt for items that may not be accessible in my local grocery stores.
Daikon is one I’ve had trouble finding. But, after some research, I found several good daikon radish substitutes.
Thankfully, no matter what’s in season or available at your local market, you’ll find something with the same slight spice and crunch as daikon radish!
What is daikon radish?
Daikon radish, also known as Japanese white radish or mooli, is famous worldwide, especially in Asian cuisine.
This white root vegetable up to 18 inches in length and 4 inches in diameter has a mild, almost sweet flavor. It’s actually the mildest out of all radish varieties.
Daikon radish is rich in vitamin C, fiber, and other minerals. A number of health advantages, including a decreased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, higher fat burning, and enhanced digestion, have been associated with it.
This helps to shed light on the reason for its extensive usage in traditional Chinese medicine.
In sum, daikon radish is an adaptable and healthy ingredient with many potential applications.
Best daikon radish substitutes
Here are my top picks for daikon radish substitutes and some tips on using them.
Mexican root vegetable – jicama – has a crisp, juicy texture and somewhat sweet flavor which makes it a good daikon radish alternative.
Salads, stir-fries, and slaws can benefit from jicama’s crunchy texture. Peel and slice or shred jicama into thin strips to substitute daikon radish (you can also try daikon as a replacement for jicama!).
Turnips taste harsh and spicy so they can replace daikon radish in spicy recipes. You can peel and slice turnips to replace daikon radishes in soups, stews, and stir-fries.
Kohlrabi is cabbage-related. It tastes sweet and crisp, making it a good daikon radish alternative. Kohlrabi works in salads, slaws, and stir-fries that call for a daikon radish flavor.
- Korean radish, or mu
Korean radish is similar to daikon in appearance and flavor. I’ve tried pickled Korean radish and I must admit, it tastes even better than pickled daikon.
Check out the Korean radish substitutes if you want to learn more about it!
A common condiment and seasoning, horseradish root packs quite a bit of heat. Despite its strong flavor, horseradish can stand in for daikon radish in a few dishes.
Sparingly swap in grated horseradish root for daikon radishes for a fiery kick!
Curious about this spicy veggie? This collection of substitutes for horseradish can help you discover a new favorite condiment.
- Red radish
Salads and sandwiches often use red radish – the most common type of radish. It has a peppery flavor that’s sharper than daikon radish.
I find that red radish works as a great daikon substitute in stir-fries. I really enjoyed combining it with buckwheat soba, carrots, bell pepper, scallions and garlic.
- Celery Root
Celery root has a brown, knobby surface and a white, slightly sweet inside. It can replace daikon radish in crunchy recipes because of its texture.
Peel and chop or shred celery root to substitute daikon radish.
- Green Papaya
Papaya’s immature fruit replaces daikon radish in salads and slaws because of its mild flavor and crisp texture.
You can peel and shred green papaya to use in savory dishes. The green papaya salad I made with carrots and red cabbage was one of the highlights of my cooking experience.
- White turnips
They substitute well in soups, stews, and stir-fries because of their sweetness and crunchiness. Peel and finely slice or shred white turnips to substitute daikon radish.
Carrots can be utilized in sweet, crunchy recipes featuring daikon radish, but their texture is different. Slice or shred carrots to replace daikon radish.
- Water Chestnuts
These aquatic vegetables are crisp and somewhat sweet. Asian stir-fries and salads utilize them for their sweet and nutty flavor.
Slice or chop water chestnuts to substitute daikon radish.
Rutabaga is a root vegetable with a sweet taste when cooked. Its flavor profile may not work in all recipes calling for daikon but it suits many soups and stews.
Daikon radish substitute FAQs
Jicama is the vegetable that most closely resembles daikon radish.
Regular radish can be a good substitute for daikon radish when a more peppery taste is preferred.
Pickled daikon radish can be used as a replacement for fresh daikon but its texture and flavor are slightly different.
Jicama, turnip, Korean radish and kohlrabi most closely resemble the texture of daikon radish.
You can either purchase daikon or its substitutes online or adapt the recipe to use another vegetable.
Yes, all substitutes for daikon radish are vegan.
No, ginger is not a suitable alternative to daikon radish because of how different their flavors are.
You can leave the daikon radish out of a recipe but bear in mind that it will alter the final results.
Yes, you use different combinations of vegetables to see what works best in your meal.
BOTTOM LINE: jicama, turnips, kohlrabi, Korean radish, horseradish, and red radishes are great options for many recipes. If you can’t locate daikon radish at the grocery store, try one of these wonderful alternatives!
Which vegetable do you think makes the perfect substitute for daikon radish? Share your thoughts in the comments!
If you liked daikon radish replacements, why not check out some other ideas? Find your perfect substitute for bell pepper, basil leaves alternatives, kidney beans replacements and artichoke hearts substitutes.