To create this refreshing salad, we started with an easy recipe for pickled daikon from chef Alexander Ong of Betelnut restaurant in San Francisco. Try it with his "Chinese Glazed Riblets with Garlic and Thai Basil."
1 1/2 pounds daikon, peeled
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 Thai or serrano chiles, cut into wide slices
1 1/2 qts. thinly sliced napa cabbage
3 green onions, cut into 2-in. lengths, then into long slivers
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
How to Make It
Cut daikon lengthwise into 1/2-in. slices, then stack and cut into 1/2-in. cubes. Toss with salt in a medium bowl. Let stand about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, to draw out moisture. Rinse daikon well and drain. In bowl, stir sugar with vinegar until dissolved, then stir in daikon, oil, and chiles. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours and as long as 1 week.
Drain daikon, reserving pickling liquid, and discard chiles. In a large bowl, toss together napa cabbage, onions, sesame seeds, and daikon. Add 1/2 cup pickling liquid (or more if you like) and toss to coat. Mix in red cabbage with a quick toss so its color doesn't bleed.