Radishes are known for their spicy, peppery flavor. They also offer a host of health benefits, which is why they are so widely used in many recipes, including a Korean favorite known as Kimchi.
Daikon radishes have many comparable substitutes that can be used in their place, including red radishes, cabbage hearts, horseradish, parsnips, jicama, and several others.
There is no shortage of alternatives for daikon radishes when you simply can’t find this ingredient. When you need a replacement for daikon radishes, be sure to consider what you will be using it for, how you will be cooking it, and if your chosen substitute is widely available before deciding on an alternative.
What to Use in Place of Daikon Radishes
When you’re making an Asian dish that calls for daikon radishes but you’re fresh out, there are a few substitutes you can use to get the same flavor or texture. Take a look at these common replacements for daikon radishes to see if they would work well for you.
1. Red Radishes
Abundant in grocery stores and widely available at farmer’s markets across the country, red radishes are a staple in any produce section. They are grown in temperate climates, require little maintenance, and thrive in cool soil underground.
When you eat a red radish, you are eating the root of this vegetable. With leafy greens that protrude from the top and stick out of the ground when ground, red radishes can be eaten alone, put into salads, or fried up as an alternative to potatoes.
You’ll find red radishes in your local supermarket all year long, which makes them widely available as a substitute for daikon radishes.
2. Cabbage Hearts
If you’re wanting to make a soup or stew with daikon radishes as an ingredient, you can easily swap out cabbage hearts in these recipes. Although some might not think a leafy green could work in place of a root vegetable, the crunchiness of cabbage hearts makes them a viable replacement to daikon radishes.
Mimicking the bitter taste of daikon radishes, cabbage hearts can be eaten either raw or cooked. Their taste is a bit bland compared to the daikon radish, though, which means they soak up flavors from other items being cooked alongside them well.
You can even eat cabbage hearts as a snack in place of daikon radishes. Simply rip off a few leaves and dip them in your favorite veggie dip.
This substitute for daikon radishes is a lesser-known vegetable, but it is still a great replacement option. They have an earthy flavor and bitter taste that is reminiscent of that of daikon radishes.
Similar to radishes, beetroot can be eaten steamed, raw, or boiled, and it can also be combined with other salad vegetables.
Yet, the most common cooking method for beetroot is to roast them. This cooking process brings out their flavor and softens them for a savory treat.
Other Substitutes for Daikon Radishes
If it’s the spiciness you enjoy about daikon radishes, you’ll find this same attribute in horseradish. When we say horseradish, you may be thinking of the white sauce that is often paired with prime rib.
However, we are discussing horseradish root, which can be eaten with vinegar and salt as an alternative to daikon radishes.
Despite the name, horseradish isn’t a radish at all. Yet, it is a comparable root vegetable that can be swapped out for daikon radishes.
You’ve likely seen colorful white and purple parsnips on your grocery store shelf, and you may have even tried them before. These vegetables are widely available at grocery stores around the country and are known for their health benefits.
Parsnips can also be subbed out for daikon radishes. They are much sweeter and less spicy than daikon radishes, but parsnips also have that crunchy flavor that everyone loves in a radish variety.
Jicama is a white root vegetable that falls into the same class as daikon radishes, but it doesn’t have the same flavor profile. While this can be a good thing in some dishes, it doesn’t make it the best substitute for a daikon radish.
This crunchy and crispy root vegetable is yellow on the outside and bright white on the inside. It largely resembles a potato. It is certainly starchy like a potato, but it is also crunchier than a daikon radish.
Commonly eaten in its raw form, you can slice up jicama and sprinkle it with lemon juice for a nice treat. It also works well in stir-fry, because it holds up to high temperatures.
Preparation of Daikon Radish Substitutes
Before choosing a substitute for daikon radishes in your recipe, you’ll have to decide exactly how you want to prepare them.
With the rise in the prevalence of the keto diet, radishes are commonly sauteed to appear and taste like potatoes. When cooked long enough, radish can be softened to resemble a potato.
You can use jicama, red radishes, or parsnips to produce the same results. Throw them in a pan with some garlic powder or garlic salt, and you’ve got a delicious side dish.
Daikon radishes are a fresh element that can be added to salads. Nearly any of the substitutes we mentioned can be swapped out for daikon radishes for this type of use.
Beetroot, horseradish, and jicama are some of our top choices for salad ingredients. Yet, many people will add standard red radishes to that list, too.
If you’re looking for a treat you can slice or dice for easy snacking, daikon radishes are a great option. When you can’t find them, though, you can instead use jicama, red radishes, or cabbage hearts to get that crunchy you’re looking for.
Go ahead and grab a cup of ranch or a veggie dip to add to your daikon radish alternatives for a crispy crunch with a savory dip. We promise you won’t regret it.
Daikon radishes are versatile ingredients that can be used in many ways and should be a staple in your vegetable drawer. However, when you can’t access daikon radishes or don’t have them on hand, you can easily swap out this veggie with one of the options we’ve mentioned.