Harihari Zuke (はりはり漬け), Pickled Dried Daikon


Drying fruits, vegetables and mushrooms is not only a way of preserving them. First of all, they have a different use in the kitchen and often become so good and unique, they could never be substituted by their fresh versions (it’s maybe a question of personal preferences, but I would never put fresh mushrooms in Ragù alla bolognese).  I have been drying fresh produce for many years (I have recently posted here several methods to dry apples), but doing this with the long Asian white radish called daikon has never crossed my mind. When I saw pickled dried daikon at Hiroyuki’s blog (Hiroyuki’s Blog on Japanese Cooking), I was very intrigued and curious but didn’t expect much more than a moderately flavoursome, interesting side-dish and certainly not the excellent taste and extraordinary texture it has changed into! I also like fresh daikon a lot, but once dried and pickled, it undergoes a magical transformation.

Daikon is one of the staple Japanese vegetable and its dried version is quite popular too. It is often used in simmered dishes and sold in two forms: wari boshi daikon (thicker strips) and shredded daikon called kiri boshi daikon (go to see the difference here at Hiroyuki’s blog). Harihari zuke (pickled dried daikon) calls for the thicker version (wari boshi daikon). Just like most Japanese pickles, these have a delicate, slightly sweetish taste, but this is where the similarity ends. The very special chewy, but at the same time crunchy texture is what makes them unique and, in my case, addictive. Thank you so much, Hiroyuki, for this extraordinary discovery!

If you don’t find thickly cut dried daikon, wari boshi daikon is ridiculously easy to prepare, whatever method you use (it’s also an excellent way to use up leftover wilted, dying daikon!). I haven’t even checked if I can get it in my city because I knew it would be cheaper when made at home and moreover I wanted to use organic vegetables. For this first experiment I used only one daikon, but after the surprisingly good outcome I have just started to dry a new, this time much bigger batch. This way I will have dried daikon ready any time I feel like preparing this wonderful snack again.

I have slightly changed Hiroyuki’s proportions in the pickling liquid and have omitted seaweed strips (see the original Hiroyuki’s recipe here).

If you don’t feel like drying daikon, you might like these tsukemono (Japanese pickles):


Cucumber Pickled in Vinegared Soy Sauce (Kyuuri no kyuuchan)


Pickled Ginger (Gari)


Pickled Pink Radish

TIPS: In Japan daikon is usually dried in the sun. Of course, given the season, I couldn’t do this. In the winter I dry fruits and vegetables on radiators: it’s quick, it doesn’t require much attention and doesn’t consume any additional energy. If you don’t have radiators, you can dry them using either the oven set at lowest temperature or hang it over the stove and wait until it dries by the heat produces while you cook (the latter can last a bit more). Of course, if you have a dehydrator, you don’t need me to tell you how to do it. Click here to see detailed description of the drying methods I used for example with apples and which apply to most cut fruits or vegetables.

Fresh chili is not obligatory here, but a it is very pleasant addition if you like hot food.

Preparation (3 hours + drying process, if you don’t have dried daikon, which depends on the method used, see here): 


1 medium daikon (about 300 g – 350 g/about 11-13 oz) or a handful (filling loosely a 125 ml/ 1/2 cup container) of wariboshi (thick strips of dried daikon)

4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or 3 tablespoons normal soy sauce+1 tablespoon water

4 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 flat tablespoon sugar (I have used agave syrup)

1 fresh medium-hot small chili, seeds removed

Frist dry the daikon (wariboshi, i.e. thicker version).

Peel the daikon, cut horizontally into 7 – 8 cm (about 3 in) chunks (I have cut my daikon in three parts).

Then cut each piece lengthwise in two, then cut each half lengthwise into 1 cm-thick strips.

They should be more or less similarly thick, but not necessarily identical.

Dry it following the instructions I gave here (using a radiator, an oven or hanging it above the stove).

When the daikon has dried completely (it has to be tough when you touch it: the drier it is, the longer it will keep; otherwise it can become mouldy), you can start the pickling process.

If dried daikon strips are too long to be considered “bite-sized”, cut them in two.

Put the daikon strips into a bowl of boiling water and leave there for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime dissolve the sugar in the mixture of vinegar and soy sauce.

Shred the chili pepper and put into the pickling mixture.

Squeeze the soaked daikon and dry it. Put it into the pickling mixture and leave in the fridge for 3 hours, shaking from time to time so that it pickles equally.

Eventually, the dried strips will absorb all the pickling liquid (the photo above was taken only after ten minutes’ pickling, hence the liquid at the bottom).

Such pickles can be left in the fridge for several days (or maybe weeks? I have no idea because I have managed to keep them only for two days).

34 Replies to “Harihari Zuke (はりはり漬け), Pickled Dried Daikon”

    1. Thank you so much, A_Boleyn. You are right: I still have to discover so many pickling recipes from Japan.

  1. I’m glad that you liked harihari zuke AND posted all about it in your blog.

    Harihari zuke (and almost all other pickles) is meant to be eaten with rice, so you may find it rather salty if you eat it alone. I hope you make any necessary adjustments to suit your taste.

    I’m not sure if harihari zuke is native to Niigata. I did some googling and found that similar pickles can be found in many parts of Japan.

    1. Hiroyuki, I am crazy for harihari zuke! I have just dried five big daikons and will buy some more soon so that I can always prepare harihari zuke quickly. Thank you for correcting me. I will update the post. I have seen it mentioned on several websites, but I have no access of course to those in Japanese (and I don’t live in Niigata either…).
      I prepare harihari zuke with low sodium soy sauce, so it’s not very salty. I have it with rice or noodle dishes, but I have to struggle in order to stop me from finishing the whole batch in one meal 😉
      Thank you again for introducing me to this wonderful recipe!

  2. Another new and inspiring recipe! Texture and taste sound bang on to me Sissi, thank you. I loved your post to dry apples, I’d love to see your dried vegetable post. I have radiators and would like to try this method for vegetable stock.

    1. Thank you so much for the compliments, Eva. As I said I like daikon, but I was really positively surprised to see how it changes after drying and then pickling. One of the miracles of food transformation. I dry the mixture of vegetables for stock this way too. I hope I can post it one day.

  3. Sissi, I have almost forgot about this wonderful root vegetable! My Mom cooked a lot of daikon and carrot soup when I was younger, the smell was overwhelming when you first walked into the house, but the taste is always excellent! I can’t recall the taste of dried daikon, but this recipe is something I must mention to her, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Jeno. I’m always so glad to see you here! I love daikon, but I agree that sometimes the smell is very “cabbagy”… these pickles don’t smell though (or maybe they tasted so good they made me forget the smell?). Carrot and daikon soup sounds really good. Can we hope to see a recipe on your blog soon? 😉

      1. Good question Sissi, I have not updated my blog for quite a while, just been updating status on Weeknite Meal’s Facebook page. Haven’t really tried many new recipes, and when I do I just link directly to the original author’s posting… I am contemplating whether I should get back in it again…

        1. I hope you will come back! I made your lemon chicken three days ago again (delicious as always) and was wondering if you would restart blogging again soon… I cross my fingers!

  4. I love pickled veggies and in Greece we make various pickles! I have no idea if I can find daikon in Greece, I never searched to be honest. But I would love to try it pickled as I am a big fan!

    1. Thank you, Katerina. I have seen daikon in several European countries. Here and in France it’s sold in supermarkets (people who buy it do not necessarily cook Asian). If you have never seen it, it’s a very long big white carrot: as long as a big leek.
      Greek pickles sound intriguing. I’m sure they are fascinating. As a notorious pickler I would be delighted to learn Greek way of pickling. (I pickle and preserve a lot in a long-term, European way: in jars in my pantry).

  5. I love your inventiveness and experiments Sissi. Always learning something new on your blog! I think I would probably have to use parsnip here but I imagine that too would be good (I actually have a thing for parsnip ;-)) your sauce sounds delicious and I’m glad you reminded us of your other pickling adventures – I remember those beautiful tulip radishes… I could use some happy pink tulips in my life right now 🙂 (spring. pretty please).

    1. Thank you very much, Kelly, for the compliments. I’m blushing 🙂 Parsnip sounds like a great idea actually! I must try it myself too! I also miss spring… I hope it will come soon.

  6. It’s so dry here that I could probably just set this on the countertop and dry it. 🙂 It is interesting that you use the pickling juice to basically rehydrate dried daikon. That’s a new method for me. It seems the advantage of it is that the pickling thorough penetrate the daikon faster than if it weren’t dry? Well, it sure looks good and something that would give you a real burst when you bite into it.

    1. Thank you, MJ. It’s very dry in my house too! Actually it’s first rehydrated in boiling water, but not completely. Otherwise it would become mushy (like simmered dried mushrooms) and of course thanks to this, there is still place to absorb the pickling liquids.

  7. Dear Sissi!
    The Missus pickles every vegetable she can put her hands on and serve them as appetizers as they are not only tasty but also very healthy what with the rice vinegar and all those fibers.
    Now, Harihari Zuke (はりはり漬け), Pickled Dried Daikon is a first!
    A beauty!
    Looking forward to discovering more!
    Best regards,

    1. Thank you very much, Robert-Gilles. You know that I particularly appreciate your comments and most of all your approval of my Japanising recipes 😉 By the way, it’s been a long time I haven’t seen your wife’s bentos 😉

  8. Sissi, you are far more Japanese than most of Japanese I know. LOL! You made dried daikon yourself?! Impressive! I love hariharizuke, but my mom buy from pickles store under the department store (you know what I’m talking about). You know what made me a big smile? When your email about this post came in, I was writing my pickled daikon post. We think alike! That made me very happy. 🙂 Wonderful pickles Sissi!

    1. Thank you very much for the compliments, Nami! (Between us: it’s ridiculously easy to pickle dried daikon or to dry it…). Oh, the underdground part of Japanese department stores… You have just made me dream… It’s such a heavenly place! This is where I tasted so many delicious things and where I bought some food home too. I still didn’t have time to comment on your blog, but I was so glad to see daikon in your newsletter! Is it telepathy? It made me happy too.

    1. Thank you, Karen. I’m glad you like the pickles and I’m sorry you cannot find daikon. You can maybe grow it 😉

  9. Really really interesting and unique. I haven’t had pickled dried stuff in ages. Dried stuff is awesome. There is no substitute for dried fish etc.
    When I saw the title the first thing I thought of was an Indian restaurant here called Hurry Curry!!!

    1. Thank you very much, Mr. Three-Cookies. It’s something I would classify in the ” food geeky” category, but extremely delicious at the same time. I come from a pickling family, pickle all the time, but pickling dried vegetables would have never crossed my mind! I totally agree about the dried fish. Have you ever had dried-salted cod? When desalted and then cooked (I prepare “acras de morue” or fish fritters with it), it becomes incredibly good. (Otherwise I don’t like cod and wonder why it’s so expensive now…).
      Hurry Curry is an excellent restaurant name idea! I hope they serve good food and quickly 😉

  10. Excellent post Sissi, I don’t use enough daikon, and would love to try this (especially since in these freezing conditions my heaters are working overtime). Have a nice weekend! 🙂

  11. I am new to your blog and so glad I found it. Wow, your Pickled Dried Daikon looks so good and appetizing. I bet the flavor is very concentrated after the drying process. I made dried apple chips quite often and I have to say, I might like that more than the fresh ones. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the tips and recipe. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Hi, Amy! Thank you for the compliments and welcome to my blog! Apple chips is something I had been meaning to prepare for such a long time. Thank you for reminding me! (I usually dry apple chunks but to a slightly soft and chewy consistency).

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