Can You Eat Daikon Radish Raw?

Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences

Written by Fozia Sherazi, Dr of Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences. Updated on January 6, 2023.

Daikon radishes (Raphanus sativus) are a root vegetable with a mild taste and a member of the Brassicaceae family of plants.

Other plants that belong to the same group include cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

Daikon, which means “big root” in Japanese, is an umbrella term for more than a hundred distinct types of vegetables.

These vegetables, which range in color from white to yellow or purple and in size from a few centimeters to over a meter long, are popular in East Asian cuisine.

Daikon radishes were likely first grown in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. It is believed that these root vegetables first arrived in China around 500 B.C. and then in Japan.

Historic trading routes between China and Asia made this possible.

Although daikon radishes may be cultivated at any time of the year, they are most commonly associated with the winter months.

They are used in many different types of Asian cuisines, including those of China, Japan, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia.

They are often served as part of festive holiday dishes such as osechi ryōri, a traditional Japanese New Year’s feast.

Although daikon radishes take longer to mature than spring radish varieties, their moderately sweet and peppery taste makes them popular.

Daikon radishes are highly versatile and can be eaten raw, pickled, cooked, or as an ingredient in other dishes.

Can You Eat Daikon Radish Raw?

Daikon radish can be eaten raw. The edible parts of the vegetable include its root, leaves, and stems.

Raw daikon radishes have a crispy texture and a mild peppery flavor with a slight hint of sweetness.

It can be enjoyed in various ways: eaten plain, added to salads and sandwiches, pickled, or grated into thin strips for use as a garnish.

Usually, the skin of radish is peeled before eating it raw; however, you can also leave it on to enjoy its full nutritional value.

To prepare a raw daikon radish for consumption, start by washing it with cold water to remove any dirt and debris.

You can leave the skin on or, using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, remove and discard it.

After washing and peeling the daikon radish, cut it into thin slices or cubes, or grate it on a cheese grater for salads and sandwiches.

Once cut or grated, you can add it to your favorite dishes, such as salads, soups, sandwiches, and wraps, for added crunch.

You can season it with salt, pepper, and other spices to bring out the flavor.

You can also eat raw daikon radish leaves.

Raw daikon leaves are a delicious and nutritious addition to salads, sandwiches, and wraps. However, they may have a slightly bitter flavor and an unpleasant texture.

To make the most of raw daikon leaves, you can lightly steam them to soften the texture and mellow out their bitter flavor.

Adding a flavorful dressing or topping to the leaves can mask any lingering bitterness and make them a delightful addition to your meal.

Wash and thoroughly dry the daikon leaves before lightly steaming them for several minutes until softened.

Cut the leaves into pieces and toss them with a vinaigrette, sesame oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Top the leaves with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of soy sauce or honey for added sweetness.

Benefits of Eating Daikon Radish Raw

Raw daikon can provide significant health benefits.

Raw daikon is low in calories and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may support healthy digestion, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and aid in weight loss.

Daikon is also a good source of dietary fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements and can lower the risk of developing certain diseases.

Additionally, raw daikon contains enzymes that help break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, aiding the digestive process.

Some health benefits of eating daikon radish raw are given below:


Eating raw daikon can help improve digestion and reduce the risk of digestive issues such as constipation and bloating.

The enzymes in daikon radish aid in the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into simpler forms that the body can easily absorb.

Furthermore, the dietary fiber in daikon helps bulk up the stool, making it easier to pass.


Daikon radish has many antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radical damage. These antioxidants may lower inflammation in the body, reduce oxidative stress, and improve heart health.

These antioxidants may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

In addition, research suggests that the antioxidants present in daikon radish may have anti-aging effects.

Anticancer Properties

Studies have shown that daikon radish is particularly effective in preventing certain types of cancer.

Compounds like glucosinolates and isothiocyanates present in daikon radish can reduce the growth of cancer cells.

Additionally, these compounds have been observed to induce apoptosis (the death of cancer cells) and inhibit angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels by cancer cells).

Antimicrobial Properties

Research suggests that daikon radish is highly effective in fighting harmful bacteria and other microorganisms.

Its strong antimicrobial properties are attributed to a combination of active compounds, such as terpenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.

These compounds are thought to be effective in preventing and inhibiting the growth of several bacterial infections, such as salmonella.

Moreover, daikon radish has also been effective against fungal infections, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus flavus.

Side Effects of Eating Daikon Radish Raw

While daikon radish consumption can benefit many, some potential side effects should be noted.

Eating daikon radish raw can cause gastric irritation and indigestion due to its high levels of dietary fiber and specific enzyme inhibitors.

Consuming daikon radish in excess can also lead to mineral and vitamin deficiencies, as the vegetable contains naturally occurring compounds that can inhibit the absorption of certain essential nutrients.

It has diuretic properties, meaning excessive consumption can cause excessive urination and dehydration.

Furthermore, daikon radish is a member of the brassica family and is known to contain goitrogens, which can be problematic for individuals with a predisposition to thyroid disorders.


Daikon radish is a root vegetable belonging to the brassica family. It originated in the Mediterranean and Southeast Asian regions.

The leaves, stems, and roots of daikon radish are all edible.

Daikon radish is a highly versatile vegetable, with uses ranging from a culinary ingredient to traditional medicinal remedies.

The daikon radish has a crunchy texture and a mildly peppery taste, making it a popular ingredient in salads and other dishes.

It has many health benefits like providing antioxidants, aiding digestion, and having anticancer properties.

Though it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, its high content of goitrogens can be a problem for individuals with an existing thyroid condition.

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