Quick Pickled Daikon, Alaska Salmon & Roe Salad
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Servings: 4 to 8
- Yield: 4 cups daikon salad
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup mirin (rice cooking wine)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6-inch piece daikon radish, peeled, halved into 2 equal logs
- 1 serrano chili, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 large radishes, halved, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, tightly packed
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, tightly packed
- 1/4 cup Thai or regular basil leaves, tightly packed
- 1/4 cup dill sprigs, tightly packed
- 1 small knob (approximately 1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled, grated
- 1 small stalk of green spring garlic (or 6 garlic chives), sliced thin
- 1 scallion, sliced thin
- 1/3 cup bonito flakes, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoons organic furikake
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons wild Alaska salmon roe
- 8 oz piece wild Alaska salmon fillet, cut into 4 equal pieces, patted dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Step 1 Read the chef's notes
“Several years ago, my team and I competed and won on Iron Chef America, Battle Radish. I have been watching this show since before its American version. As goofy as it was, I admired the skill and go-for-broke creativity from all the chefs. I always secretly imagined competing on Iron Chef and then it happened. Dreams do come true.
Wins on Iron chef are rare, so to give ourselves a fighting chance we set a training regimen we imagined an athlete would follow when preparing for big games. Every time we cooked, we picked random ingredients, constructed 5 course menus around them and cooked our hearts out. First time we trained, we set the clocks for an hour and barely made it, scratching our heads at our feeble efforts. As time went on and we progressed, we got better, much better. We pushed the timing and set the clock for 55 minutes then for 50 and in the end we got there with time to spare. We were proud and happy, but most importantly we were in our best fighting shapes and ready to take on an Iron Chef. We packed our bags, took our favorite knives, and flew to NYC with only one thought…” Iron Chef…watch out, we are coming for you!!!!”
As the show began and the secret ingredient unveiled, we were shocked and relieved to learn it was radish!!! As luck would have it, we used radishes in one of our training sessions, so we proceeded with confidence, following our steps as previously rehearsed. I could keep going, describing the experience further but I think it’s more fun to just watch the show.
This quick pickled daikon and salmon roe salad was part of the first course we served on the show. It wowed the judges as it was smartly constructed to hit all corners of the palate. It is bright and herbaceous, sweet, and briny, spicy, and crunchy. Made even better by rich Alaskan salmon belly, it was a clear winner.
So go ahead and give it a try. No need to set the timer, just enjoy the process and most importantly enjoy the dish.”
– Chef Vitaly Paley
Step 2 Pickle daikon
To make pickling liquid: In a small pot, combine rice vinegar, mirin, salt and sugar and over high heat; bring to boil.
Meanwhile, slice each daikon log into 1/8-inch slices. Stack a couple slices on top of one another cut into 1/8-inch batons. Repeat with remaining daikon slices; place into bowl. When pickling liquid comes to rolling boil, turn off heat, Pour liquid over daikon. Mix with tongs; set aside to cool completely.
Step 3 Cook salmon
Over high heat, heat 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Add olive oil. When oil shimmers and begins to smoke, lower the heat to medium. Place salmon pieces carefully into pan. Cook on all sides for exactly 30 seconds per side. Remove salmon to paper towel-lined plate.
Step 4 Plate and serve
For single serving, place several spoonfuls daikon salad on a plate, add cooked salmon on top. Garnish each salmon with the remainder of salmon roe and a serrano slice. Alternatively, serve the pickled daikon salad family style on platter and serve with your favorite grilled/roasted protein.