December 18, 2012

Nezumi Daikon/ねずみ大根

The other day, I got a call from my father, who said he would send us another box of foodstuffs.  I asked him to include shougoin daikon if he had any left.  The box contained one shougoin daikon, as well as two other smaller daikon.  I thought they were nezumi (lit. mouse, rat) daikon.  I called my father to thank him and asked what the small daikon were.  I was right.  They were nezumi daikon.
For comparison, I took a photo of the two varieties of daikon with one aokubi daikon (top).
You may wonder why these small daikon are called nezumi daikon.  You will see why if you check these images:
Nezumi daikon is a specialty of Sakaki machi, Nagano prefecture.  My father comes from Nagano, and likes this particular daikon variety.  It is a very pungent variety, and according to several websites, it is not only pungent but sweet, and the local people describe the flavor as "ama mokkura".

Nezumi daikon is often grated and squeezed to get the juice.  To the juice are added Shinshu miso, negi, katsuobushi, and other ingredients.  The juice is served with udon.  This dish is called o-shibori udon.
o- = Bika go (lit. beautification word)
shibori < shiboru = squeeze

Sorry, no photos of oshibori udon.  I am not fond of o-shibori udon...

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