“Sorry, daikon simmered with yellowtail is finished today. But “heso (naval)” daikon is still available.”
“OK, then I’ll have heso daikon.”
This is a real conversation carried out between a storekeeper of a Japanese-style tavern and a customer (it’s me!) in Sendai last night.
“Heso daikon” is dried daikon (giant white radish) made in Marumori in the southern part of Miyagi Prefecture.
Round sliced daikon is simmered once and put it on a bamboo stick in a line, and then exposed to a cold wind under the eaves.
Daikon is gradually shrinking through the process of freezing and melting for days and nights. Because a small hole in the center made by a bamboo stick looks like a naval which is heso in Japanese, it is called heso daikon.
To have heso daikon in the original size, just simmer. You can enjoy its sweet taste.
Every household used to make heso daikon for home consumption. It was about 20 years ago heso daikon became available for purchase as one of special products in Marumori.
If you come to this area, you should savor the simple taste of the traditional dried food.