Well, the takuan-zuke experiment was stinky and interesting, but ultimately a failure due to inadequate storage environments. I was going to store them outside in the cold where it would have been more consistent of temperature, but opted not to because I thought the smell of fermenting daikon would offend my neighbors. So I kept it inside…where it was too warm…and surprise, surprise– they grew moldy friends.
At first it was just white mold on the top of the daikon greens on the top of the crock, which I’ve heard is generally harmless, so I skimmed that off and kept it going. But then when I was ready to take them out, the top layer of rice bran had blue and white mold. Not being able to tell whether or not that kind of mold was poisonous (because I’m not a scientist with a microscope!), I just had to err on the side of caution and ditch it all.
Very, very sad.
But that isn’t to say that I didn’t try a couple tiny slices from some of the daikon that were farthest away from the mold. Ultimately, they were too salty. This is probably because I kept adding salt to the top of the crock in an (obviously unsuccessful) attempt to ward off the mold. However, they did turn that odd yellow color and taste like rice bran.
So, the moral of the story is…if you’re going to make takuan-zuke, store them somewhere cold while they ferment, like a cellar. I also wouldn’t weight it quite as much as I did (I had a lot of pressure squishing the whole thing down) because my daikon got sort of compacted and dry and had a weird texture. Otherwise you’re just going to waste a lot of daikon. Well, at least the whole experiment probably cost me less than five bucks since I grew the daikon. The thought of those beautiful daikon going to waste just makes me sigh. At least I can grow more and it cost me less than five bucks.
But I don’t like to end on a sad note, so here’s a picture of some orange juice I made with oranges I got for free from someone’s tree prunings!:
Thanks, random lady down the street for trimming your tree and then telling me which of the oranges on the pile of branches were tastier. You rock.
I haven’t posted any recipes or anything lately. I guess I’ve been somewhat lazy. I did make some larb gai and recommend this recipe highly if you’re looking for some Thai. This week it’s back to being primarily vegetarian, though, so maybe you’ll see more recipes. I’m thinking lentil soup?