Korean Radish vs Daikon

Daikon is a Chinese radish and is pretty similar to Korean radish. Daikon is one of China’s most exemplary vegetables and it started being grown around 1,300 years ago. Over one hundred types of daikon exist, but most of them are near extinction. Korean radishes have a much more rich history, and have existed since 57 BCE.

Korean radish and daikon are very similar in their appearance and taste. A main distinction is that Korean radish, or Mu, is rounder and shorter. Daikon is white all over whereas Mu is green at the top. Mu is also usually denser and more flavorful.

Korean Radish

Korean radishes are round, thick and white. They usually have a pale green tint on their head. They have a peppery flavor and are known to have many health benefits like improving gut health, managing skin problems, and fighting infection. In texture, they are firm and crunchy.

Daikon

Daikon, or the Chinese radish, is much longer in size, ranging from anywhere between eight to 24 inches. Daikon is softer to the touch than the Korean radish. The shape of daikon resembles that of a carrot, sometimes longer. They taste sweeter than the Korean radish and do not have the green color that Korean radishes have. Daikon has similar health benefits to that of the Korean radish. 

Uses

Because of their many similarities, the Korean and Chinese radishes can be used interchangeably in the kitchen, especially when they’re part of a recipe. Radishes are used in a plethora of recipes, including sandwiches, salads, soups, wraps, or plain snacks. 

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Either radish is a good addition to almost any meal because of their high nutritional value and low caloric content. Many people also like to put the leaves into their tea because of their anti-infection and anti-fungal properties.

Health Benefits

Because the two types of radishes are similar in their nutritional content, we can expect similar health benefits. Let’s look further into some of the benefits that Korean and Chinese radishes can provide:

  • Improving digestion. A radish contains protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, which all can make the gut health improve when eaten in small portions daily.
  • Improving bone health & boosting the immune system. Because of the high amount of Vitamin C in both radishes, the production of white blood cells is stimulated. 
  • Skin care. Antioxidants in the radishes can help prevent wrinkles and blemishes. It also increases circulation in the skin which may give you more of a glow. 
  • Anti-cancer properties. These radishes have potassium, vitamin C, and calcium which all help to fight different cancers. It’s not unheard of that consuming a little each day can improve your overall well-being.
  • Folate. This is particularly helpful for pregnant women as it helps the development of a fetus. It is said to reduce the risk of birth defects. Folate can also combat excessive hair loss.

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Final Thoughts

The Korean radish (Mu) and Chinese radish (daikon) are similar in many ways. They’re used in the same recipes and have many of the same nutritional properties. Often, one can be replaced for the other when cooking because of the multitude of similarities. They have a prominent resemblance to each other.

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They often get confused for each other. The few differences are subtle, but easy to spot when you know what to look for. The Korean radish is usually all white in color and has a round shape. Whereas daikon is much longer and has a green tint at the top. The biggest difference between the two is the taste– Korean radishes have a more peppery, spicy, flavor and daikon is much sweeter.