Other root vegetables, such as turnips, rutabagas, or parsnips, may be used for this dish, based on this recipe from Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji (Kodansha International, 1980).
- 1 (2") square piece konbu (dried sea kelp)
- Pinch salt
- 1 (9") piece daikon, peeled, trimmed, and cut crosswise into eight 1"-thick rounds
- 3⁄4 cup white miso
- 3 tbsp. sake
- 2 tbsp. mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp. dashi
- 1 (1") piece ginger, peeled and grated
Cut out a circle of parchment paper just large enough to fit inside a wide medium pot, then cut a ½" vent hole in center and set paper aside. Put sea kelp, 8 cups water, and salt into the wide medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add daikon and return to a simmer. Lay parchment paper circle on surface of liquid in pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until daikon is soft when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife, 50-60 minutes.
Put miso into a medium pan set over another medium pan of simmering water over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until paste loosens, about 1 minute. Gradually add sake, then rice wine, stirring until smooth. Add sugar and egg yolk and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Stir in dashi and ginger.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer daikon, one of the cut sides up, to 8 small bowls and discard cooking liquid. Spoon some of the miso sauce on top of each piece of daikon, spreading it out with the back of the spoon to cover top of daikon completely.