Comme à Kyoto – Steak de Daikon

After a recent trip to Japan I came back with tons of recipes, ideas, inspirations, and a fascination for this wonderful country. Needless to say that for someone like me who spends most of her time cooking, and who loves to cook, Japan is the place to go. Everything is perfection, to the quality of the products, to the gorgeous presentations, to the meticulous creations, Japanese strive for perfection and they do it better than any other country. Everything is an art, and people take pride in whatever they do. Many countries should take example on Japan.

Since I took pictures and notes on everything I ate, in order not to forget it, I have the goal to reproduce most of the delightful dishes I ate to the best of my abilities. So within the next month or two, the dishes will be Japan-inspired.

The amazing things about Japanese cuisine is that it seems simple, with simple ingredients, but it’s not that simple. It all depends of the cut of the ingredients (the types of knifes they have is incredible, almost one knife for one ingredient, definitely one knife for one particular type of fish). The herbs are cut very finely which gives a subtle and distinct flavor to the dish.

I ate this daikon dish in a small Izakaya (pub serving small dishes and sake, wine, beer and other types of alcohol) in Kyoto. I had no idea what to expect, but the owner told me that this would be good for me, so I let her decide.  Basically daikon is a big radish, some are smaller, some are bigger. Western supermarkets in San Francisco like Whole Foods carry them, but for this steak, you need a large one (about 10 cm diameter), available in Japan town at Nijiya supermarket.

The original dish in Kyoto was served without any herbs. I took the liberty to add herbs at the end. Adding them or not adding them would be your choice. I got this recipe from my Japanese neighbor, Rui. it tasted identical to the one I ate in Kyoto.

This dish is very simple to make yet delicious.

Ingredients for 4

  • 1 large daikon, peeled and cut in 2 cm slices
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs soy sauce (I used the reduced salt one)
  • salt
  • 2 scallions, cut very finely
  • 2 tbs mitsuba, cut very finely (Japanese parsley)


In a large pot of salted water, cook daikon  for about 30 minutes, until soft (a knife should be able to go through the slice) but still firm. Drain. In a pan, heat olive oil, and brown daikon on both sides at high temperature (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little salt.

Add butter and soy sauce, stir well coating the daikon and serve. Sprinkle with herbs.