Yesterday, the weather was calling for our coldest temp so far (23F), so I thought it would be a good time to harvest some of our daikon radishes that are growing in the garden.
I had not expected this crop to reach a very big size with regard to the roots since the seeds were planted this fall in a hugelkultur (wood chip) bed that was prepared this past summer. I was pleasantly surprised to see some decent diameter roots becoming visible over the past month; like other types of radishes, the crown that is visible under the leaves can give a pretty good idea of what you will get when they are pulled.
However, daikon radishes can get very long, so it can be somewhat surprising to see what all is harvested.
Here is a picture of some of the daikons after getting cleaned up a bit:
The tops were coarsely chopped and put into a big bowl with a brine to rest overnight. One of the roots was peeled and sliced to go with dinner, while the others were cut into strips (julienne) with a mandoline. The radish strips were then packed into jars and covered with a brine solution, as well.
Tonight I will drain the leaves and roots, rinse and pack into jars with garlic, soy sauce and hot chili to finish making the kimchi!
Update on 12/19/12
Here is a finished jar of each type of kimchi – roots in one and leaves in the other. A sample taste of each was very good! No bitterness to the leaves at all, which can sometimes be an issue with them. The daikon roots have a nice mild radish flavor that complements the fermented salty/spicy tang.