a bowl of Daikon nimono with konbu dashi

Daikon Nimono with Konbu Dashi: A Taste of Japanese Homestyle Cooking


Daikon Nimono with Konbu Dashi, a classic Japanese dish, is a comforting staple that showcases the humble daikon radish in a flavorful konbu dashi broth. Its origins are rooted in the simplicity of Japanese home cooking, where each ingredient is respected and allowed to shine. For me, this dish evokes memories of family dinners, where the daikon’s tender texture and the dashi’s umami-rich warmth brought everyone together.

Daikon Nimono with Konbu Dashi

Cultural Context

Nimono, meaning “simmered things,” is a cooking method integral to Japanese cuisine. Daikon Nimono, in particular, is often served during the winter months when daikon is at its peak. It’s a dish that reflects the Japanese principle of shun—enjoying seasonal ingredients at their best. While not tied to specific festivals, it’s a common sight at traditional Japanese meals, symbolizing comfort and nourishment.

Ingredient Spotlight

The stars of Daikon Nimono with Konbu Dashi are:

  • Daikon radish: Mild and slightly sweet, it absorbs the flavors of the broth beautifully.
  • Konbu dashi: Made from kelp, it’s the foundation of the dish, imparting a deep umami flavor.
  • Soy sauce and mirin: These seasonings provide a balance of savory and sweet notes.
  • Modern variations might include additional vegetables or proteins, but the essence of the dish remains the same—simplicity and depth of flavor.

Health Benefits

Daikon is low in calories but rich in vitamin C and digestive enzymes. Konbu is a great source of iodine and minerals. Together, they create a dish that supports digestive health and boosts the immune system.

Daikon Nimono with Konbu Dashi ingredients



  • 10-12 in. piece of daikon, peeled and cut 1 in. thick
  • 1 1⁄2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2in. pieces
  • 1 cup bamboo shoot, cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 1 block konnyaku, parboiled, poked and cut into triangles
  • 4 cups of togijiru, cloudy white water you get from rinsing 2 cups of rice
  • 3 cups konbu dashi
  • 6 Tbsp sake
  • 1⁄4 cup mirin
  • 3-4 Tbsp soy sauce

Optional- to garnish – ichimi, shichimi red pepper, lemon zest


  1. Peel the daikon and cut 1 inch thick. Optional – Round off edges and corners with a vegetable
    peeler or knife
  2. Score a + sign, 1⁄4 in deep on the top and bottom of the daikon slices.
  3. In a medium pot, add the togijiru and daikon and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30
    minutes until you can pierce the daikon easily with a chopstick.
  4. Strain the daikon, discarding the togijiru and return daikon to the pot.
  5. Add in konbu dashi, sake, mirin, bamboo shoot, konnyaku and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. Using medium low heat, simmer with an otoshibuta for 15-20 minutes until liquid has reduced
    by about half.
  7. Add in the soy sauce and continue simmering for another 10-20 minutes with the otoshibuta.
  8. Taste the broth and if it’s concentrated enough for you, it’s ready to serve.
  9. Top with thin slices of lemon or red peppers!

Cooking Tips for Daikon Nimono with Konbu Dashi

  • If you’re particular about the broth and want to keep it clear you need to carve the edges of the daikon pieces. This will prevent the daikon from breaking off/dissolving and making the broth cloudy.
  • Make sure not to boil the vegetables because boiling will cause them to bump around and cause the daikon to disintegrate into the broth.
  • For the ultimate flavor in each bite, allow the vegetables to cool down once so that the flavors are fully absorbed.
  • To protect the color of the green beans, what you can do is blanch and shock in ice water and then add to the cooled nimono broth. If you want to eat it right away, or aren’t particular about the color save a step and just cook the green beans together with the daikon.
  • The otoshibuta (dropped lid) though not required, will help to circulate the aroma and flavor from the surface of the broth to the top of the otoshibuta and back down onto the daikon. Essentially it creates an aroma and flavor packed rain, that comes down from the surface of the otoshibuta and onto the food your simmering. I recommend you try it if you haven’t yet to see if you noticed a difference!
  • As you may know – you can make the otoshibuta from parchment paper, just cut a round shape a little smaller than your pot and then fold it in half and cut 4-5 long slits evenly spaced and place on top of the daikon once it’s ready to be simmered.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Daikon Nimono as a side dish with a bowl of steamed rice and miso soup for a traditional meal. It also pairs well with grilled fish or a simple salad.


Customize your Daikon Nimono by:


Daikon Nimono with Konbu Dashi is a testament to the beauty of Japanese homestyle cooking. I invite you to try this recipe, share your experiences, and explore new variations. Let’s appreciate the simple pleasures of cooking and eating together.

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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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