Sunday, September 8, 2013

ABC's of Paleo: D is for Daikon Radish (Daikon Radish Pancakes)

It's our fourth week in the series "ABC's of Paleo." Here's a recap of ingredients and what has been made so far.

Week 1 - A is for Artichoke - Roasted Artichokes with Creamy Lemon-Garlic-Dijon Dip
Week 2 - B is for Bison - Bacon-Bison Chili
Week 3 - C is for Cherries - Cherry Pie with Crumble Topping

This week, our ingredient is daikon radishes. You're probably wondering what is a daikon radish. These radishes are a member of the turnip family. They were originally cultivated in southeast Asia. Some of you may have eaten these little gems in the form of a Chinese dim sum dish known as turnip cake. I scoured the internet looking at various recipes for these turnip cakes (AKA daikon radish cakes). All of the recipes contained large amounts of rice flour. I thought about substituting the rice flour with tapioca and/or arrowroot. Then I realized I didn't have all the ingredients for a traditional turnip cake (dried shrimp and dried mushrooms, specifically). It seemed like a pretty time-intensive process to make them. I also searched for Paleo turnip cake, hoping someone had already converted some of the ingredients, so I could adapt the dish from there. No such luck.

I was back to square one. Do I try to adapt a non-Paleo dish or create something new?

I went with the latter of course. I thought the radish cake, or pancake, sounded like a good idea. I do love pancakes. I decided to start with bacon, since some of the turnip cake recipes called for Chinese bacon. Chinese bacon is similar to pork belly, but I only had regular bacon on hand. I wanted to make some sort of patty or pancake, so I knew I would need eggs as a binder, but wanted it to be a little bit thicker than just scrambled egg. That's where the tapioca and almond flours came in. I'm pretty sure I just developed a basic recipe for so many other dishes that I will develop soon.

Paleo Daikon Radish Pancakes
Makes: Approximately Five 5” pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 3 daikon radishes, shredded
  • 12 oz. bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T. tapioca starch/flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 T. grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil (or other cooking fat)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • Green onions, to garnish (optional)

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and place in a paper towel-lined bowl.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, peel the daikon radishes (I used a potato peeler).
  3. Shred the radishes, using either a box grater or your food processor with the shredder attachment (I used my food processor and it took no time at all).
  4. Put the shredded radishes into a large kitchen towel. Squeeze out

    as much excess water/liquid as possible.
  5. Once you’ve removed the bacon from the skillet, add the shredded radishes. Season with sea salt and pepper.

  6. Flip the radishes over a few times to ensure even cooking. They won’t get crispy. I cooked mine for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  7. Remove from pan and let cool slightly.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the 4 eggs. Then whisk in the tapioca starch and almond flour.
  9. Add the slightly-cooled radishes and bacon to the bowl. Mix well, so everything is coated with the egg mixture and the bacon is evenly distributed.
  10. Add about 1 T. of grass-fed butter to the skillet. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, scoop out batter into the pan, flattening the top with your spatula so it’s somewhat flat. I was able to cook two at a time in my skillet. You could make them smaller and fit more into the pan.
  11. Cook your pancakes for about 4 minutes on each side (or until golden/spotted). They’ll flip pretty easily.
  12. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
  13. Garnish with green onions, if you wish.
  14. Enjoy! 

I loved these pancakes. The batter to daikon radish ratio was just right. They cook and flip easily. The batter itself is fairly neutral tasting, so the bacon and lightly-sweet radish flavor comes out. I think these would make a fabulous breakfast or part of a brunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Next up in the ABC's of Paleo: E is for Elk!