Daikon Radish

Top Substitutes for Daikon Radish in Your Dishes

Daikon radish, a versatile root vegetable popular in various Asian countries such as Japan, China, Vietnam, and India, resembles a plumper, whiter parsnip. It’s a fantastic addition to your meals if you’re seeking a healthy and tasty vegetable.

This winter root veggie is not only low in calories and carbs but also rich in fiber and vitamins. Its slightly sweet flavor complements a wide range of dishes. If you can’t find daikon radish at your local grocery store, don’t fret. There are plenty of alternative ingredients you can use. Explore the top substitutes for daikon radish below.

What’s Daikon Radish?

Daikon radish is a white radish from Asia. It’s long, slender, and has a mild, slightly sweet taste. You can use it in Asian dishes, salads, and soups. When cooked, it turns tender and sweet. It’s high in vitamin C and other nutrients, so it’s a healthy choice. Besides cooking, it’s also used for medicinal purposes, like treating colds and stomach issues. If you want to try a new vegetable, give daikon radish a shot.

Top Alternatives for Daikon Radish

Red Radishes

Red Radish

Red radishes grow in cool climates with little maintenance needed. They have a range of flavors, from mild to spicy. These small, round radishes are widely used in various cuisines worldwide. They have red skin, white interiors, and a milder spice compared to daikon radish.

Red radishes are low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants, making them a healthy snack for weight management and overall well-being. In Korean cuisine, they’re served raw in salads, soups, and garnishes for Mexican dishes. You can also use red radishes as a substitute for daikon by slicing or julienning them in recipes like kimchi, pickles, and stir-fries. They’re a nutritious addition to rice bowls as well.



Turnips are a great alternative to daikon radish. They look and feel similar and can fit well in your dish. Turnips have a little sweet flavor that adds to the taste. Just like daikon radishes, they’re full of good stuff for your body—lots of fiber and vitamin C. They’re also low in calories, perfect if you’re trying to lose weight. Turnips can be white or purple, with purple ones being a bit sweeter and more nutritious. You can enjoy turnips raw, roasted, mashed, or in soup. No matter how you prepare them, turnips are tasty and good for you.

Korean Radish

Korean radish, also called mu or moo, is a root veggie similar to daikon. It’s used in kimchi, salads, and soups. Korean radish has green skin and crisp, slightly sweet white flesh. It’s less spicy than daikon but still adds a nice crunch and refreshing taste. Korean radish also provides vitamin C and fiber. If you use it instead of daikon, remember it might have a slightly different texture and flavor but can give your Korean dishes a unique twist.

Cabbage Hearts

You can replace daikon radishes with cabbage hearts in soup or stew recipes. Cabbage hearts offer a viable substitute due to their crunchiness. They can imitate the bitter taste of daikon radishes and are suitable for both raw and cooked consumption. Although they have a milder flavor, they readily absorb the flavors of other ingredients when cooked together. In coleslaw, cabbage hearts provide a similar texture and crunch to daikon radish, making the salad crisp and refreshing.


Beetroot, a less-known veggie, makes it a good daikon radish substitute. It has an earthy and slightly bitter taste, much like daikon radishes. You can eat it raw, steamed, or boiled and mix it with other salad veggies. Roasting is the most popular way to cook beetroot, enhancing its flavor and making it a tasty treat.

Horseradish Root

Horseradish root, native to Eastern Europe, has a strong and sharp flavor. People have used it for centuries as a condiment and for medicinal purposes. It is used in sauces and dips like cocktail sauce and horseradish cream sauce. You can grate it and mix it with vinegar and salt to make a homemade horseradish sauce, which goes well with various meats. Horseradish root has a much stronger flavor than daikon radish, so use less when substituting it in a recipe.



Parsnips may not be as sweet as carrots and have a slightly earthy taste, making them an acquired taste for some. However, they can be a tasty and versatile winter vegetable. They belong to the same family as carrots and celery, resembling white carrots. They’re most abundant during the winter and are often cooked—roasted, mashed, or pureed. Parsnips can also enhance soups and stews.


Jicama is a white root vegetable similar to daikon radishes, but it has a different flavor. It’s crunchy, with yellow skin and white flesh, resembling a potato. While it’s starchy like a potato, it’s crunchier than daikon radish. Jicama tastes sweet and nutty, like a mix of apple and pear. You can eat it raw or cooked—raw jicama can replace apples in salads or be a dipping veggie. When cooked, you can boil, roast, or stir-fry jicama. If you’re substituting jicama for daikon, consider the flavors and textures; jicama is a good choice if you want a crunchy texture in your dish.


Kohlrabi, a close relative of cabbage, offers a sweet and crisp taste, making it an excellent alternative to daikon radish in dishes. It can be used in salads, slaws, and stir-fries that require a daikon radish-like flavor.

Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts, which are aquatic vegetables, provide a delightful, crisp, and slightly sweet profile. They are commonly used in Asian stir-fries and salads to impart their sweet and nutty essence. To substitute for daikon radish, you can slice or chop water chestnuts.

Preparation of Daikon Radish Substitutes

When considering daikon radish substitutes, first determine your cooking method:

Sauteing: Radishes can mimic potatoes in keto-friendly sauté dishes. Use jicama, red radishes, or parsnips with garlic for a tasty side.

Salads: Daikon radish alternatives like beetroot, horseradish, jicama, or even standard red radishes work well in salads.

Snacking: For a crunchy snack, use jicama, red radishes, or cabbage hearts. Dip in ranch or veggie dip for a delightful treat. You won’t be disappointed.

Daikon Radish Substitute FAQs

Can I use regular radish as a substitute for daikon radish?

Regular radish can be a substitute for daikon radish, particularly when a more peppery flavor is desired.

Is pickled daikon radish an adequate replacement for fresh daikon radish?

Pickled daikon radish can be used as a substitute for fresh daikon, but it may have a slightly different texture and flavor.

Which vegetables have a texture most similar to daikon radish?

Jicama, turnip, Korean radish, and kohlrabi are close to the texture of daikon radish.

Are daikon radish substitutes suitable for vegan diets?

Yes, all daikon radish substitutes are vegan.

Can ginger be used as a replacement for daikon radish?

Ginger is not a suitable alternative for daikon radish due to distinct flavor differences.

Can I combine various vegetables as a substitute for daikon?

Yes, you can experiment with different combinations of vegetables to find the best fit for your dish.

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