All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Daikon, ninjin, age no itameni / daikon radish, carrot and thin deep-fried tofu saute simmered in broth (reduced-sodium version)

Featuring daikon radish, carrot and thin deep-fried tofu, this is a reduced-sodium version of my kind of everyday dish. As making less is one way to cut back on sodium, the recipe below is for half of the original amount, which makes it ideal as a small side dish at the table or as a good portion for bento boxes. Rice vinegar does the trick of leaving a sharp tingling sensation, helping you to forget about there being little salty seasoning.

1/2 of recipe:
57 calories per serving; 1.8 g protein; 2.2 g fat; 6.1 g carbohydrate; 4.5 g net carbs; 98 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 174 mg with regular soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 1.6 g fiber


3-4 cm daikon radish (130 g in photo)
1/2 carrot (40 g in photo)
1 small usuage thin deep-fried tofu
1/2 taka no tsume red chili pepper (slices)

2 tbsp dashi
1/4 tsp komezu regular rice vinegar
1/4 tsp kurozu rice vinegar
1 tbsp sake
1/4 tsp brown sugar (not in photo)
1 tsp soy sauce (50% reduced-sodium soy sauce)
1/4 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt
1/2 tsp sesame oil (not in photo)


Slice carrot lengthwise somewhat thinly, 2-3 mm.
Cut daikon into 2-3 mm squares (first trim the four edges, cut lengthwise into half, then slice into 2-3 mm -- see original recipe for photos).
Prep-boil usuage thin deep-fried tofu to get rid of excess oil. Cut in half, and slice into 1cm-wide strips.


In a pot, heat sesame oil, and saute carrot until coated with oil, about 1 minute, on medium heat.

Add daikon, and quickly saute until daikon is coated with oil.


Add red chili pepper, dashi, and both komezu and kurozu vinegar.

Mix well.
Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 6-7 minutes.


Add brown sugar and sake.

Mix well.

Cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until daikon and carrot reach desired softness.


Add usuage, soy sauce and shiokoji.

Quickly mix.
Cook until liquid is almost gone.

  • Make sure to simmer long enough after adding rice vinegar so the sourness disappears. You'll be left with a tingling spicy sensation, which tricks you into thinking the dish has been flavored with soy sauce (especially noticeable with kurozu brown rice vinegar).
  • Kurozu brown rice vinegar gives more flavor but it also turns the dish a more brownish. Therefore, clear, regular rice vinegar is also used.
  • The original recipe uses usukuchi soy sauce for a paler color at the end and to give better contrast with the carrot. If a similar effect is desired with the reduced-sodium version above, make sure to slice daikon somewhat thick (3 mm). If the final color and texture are not a concern, thinner slices work just fine.

(Last updated: May 8, 2016)

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