When New York City chef Chef Haruo Shibata wouldn't give us his secret recipe for this daikon salad, we started experimenting. We found we liked a little grated daikon in the dressing (it gives it the punch it needs) and the nutty-peppery mix of sunflower sprouts and daikon—but any kind of fresh sprouts will do.
2 tbsp. mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
2 tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 small dried hot chile (such as thai), slit lengthwise
1 1⁄4 lbs. daikon
2 cups trimmed sunflower sprouts
Salt or soy sauce
1. In a small bowl, combine mirin, vinegar, 1–1 1⁄2 tbsp. water, and chile. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
2. Meanwhile, peel daikon. Finely grate enough daikon to make 1 1⁄2 tbsp.; julienne the rest (a mandoline is indispensable. In a large bowl, combine julienned daikon with sunflower sprouts. Discard chile and, to finish dressing, stir in grated daikon. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season to taste with salt or soy sauce.