Dec 8
2010

Daikon, Carrot, Persimmon, and Pomegranate Sunomono

in Appetizers, Fruits & Vegetables, Japanese, Salads, Side Dish

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Harvest Sunomono

Ask me to describe a perfect day and my response would be, “An afternoon spent with friends, two happy little girls, two loving dogs, rare warm autumn afternoon sunshine, and a garden bursting at the seams with ripe fruits and vegetables.”  Last month the girls and I went to visit Todd and Diane (White On Rice Couple) and raid their persimmon tree.  We spent a wonderful afternoon enjoying the sunshine and the bounty of their wonderful garden.  It was one of those days that makes a memory that fills you with warmth and leaves a smile on your face.

Visiting White On Rice Couple

(A huge thank you to Diane for snapping these gorgeous photos with my camera!)

It made quite the impression on Squirrel, and she has mentioned the trip on multiple occasions since.  In fact yesterday as I was standing at the stove making dinner, I felt a tug on my shirt.  I looked down to see Squirrel looking up at me with a serious look on her face.  When she saw that she had my attention, she said, “Mommy, when are we going to go visit my best friends?  They miss me!”  I asked her who her best friends were, and she replied in a tone that implied that I was completely daft, “Mommy, Todd and Diane are my best friends!”  Squirrel is a great judge of character—Todd and Diane are two pretty special people.  Not only are they some of the sweetest people I have the privilege of knowing, but they made my day by sending me home with a bag bulging with fuyu persimmons that we picked from their tree.

Absconding with persimmons from White On Rice Couple's tree

I fell in love with persimmons while living in Japan.  There two main types of persimmons, sweet persimmons and astringent persimmons, both of which are grown and eaten in Japan.  Fuyu persimmons and hachiyas persimmons are the most commonly available in North America.  Hachiyas are astringent and cannot be eaten unless they are overripe due to high levels of tanning in the fruit.  As a result, these persimmons are usually cooked or dried, which transforms the fruit into a sweet treat.  Fuyus, on the other hand, can be eaten while the fruit is still crisp, so they are often peeled, sliced, and added to salads or eaten plain.  The flesh is lightly sweet and creamy, with a flavor that hints at pumpkin.  As I was trying to decide what dishes to make for my POM Dinner Party, I decided that a harvest meal wouldn’t be complete without using some of those beautiful fuyus that I had come home with.

Plating the salad course

So I dreamed up a salad that would combine persimmons with fresh pomegranate arils.  I chose to make a sunomono, a Japanese salad made with a vinegar-based dressing that lightly pickles the ingredients.  I chose daikon radish, carrot, persimmon, and pomegranate for my sunomono.

Daikon, Persimmons, Pomegranate, and Carrot

I cut the daikon, carrot, and persimmon into matchsticks, and tossed them with the pomegranate arils.  I made a light dressing from rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, and added a bit of dashi to soften the flavor.

Mixing the sunomono ingredients

The combination worked beautifully.  Each ingredient added color and texture, and the flavors complimented one another.  The daikon and carrot added crunch and a bit of sweetness, the persimmon provided creamy sweetness, and the pomegranate arils added a juicy tang.

Daikon Carrot Persimmon Pomegranate Sunomono

Print This Recipe

Daikon, Carrot, Persimmon, and Pomegranate Sunomono

Makes approximately 5 servings

Recipe Note: The sunomono can be made and stored in the refrigerator ahead of time.  After about 6 hours the flavors start to become stronger, which I personally like, but which may be less appealing to some guests.  So if you’re planning on making this ahead of time, I would use it within 6 hours! Vegetable stock can be substituted for the dashi to make the dish vegetarian.

Sunomono Dressing:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup dashi
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt

10 ounces daikon radish, cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
2 teaspoons salt
1 medium fuyu persimmon, ripe but not too soft, cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
1 medium carrot, cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
1 cup fresh pomegranate arils

1. Make the sunomono dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the sunomono dressing ingredients and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

2. Make the sunomono: In a medium bowl, toss  the daikon matchsticks with the tablespoon of salt, and let stand for 10 minutes.  Then transfer the daikon to a colander, briefly rinse it under cold running water, then drain it and squeeze it tightly to remove excess water.  Taste the daikon—if it is too salty, rinse, drain, and squeeze it again.

3. In another bowl, toss the daikon, carrot, persimmon, and pomegranate arils with the dressing.  Cover the bowl and let the sunomono rest in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Serve chilled.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Noelle December 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

WOw, this is wonderful. I have been busy making persimmon desserts and smoothies that I overlooked how else it could be used. Thanks for a lovely recipe!: D

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To Kiss the Cook December 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

So beautiful and really festive. I need to grab some daikon for salad rolls anyway…you’ve inspired me to pick up an extra!

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe December 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

How pretty! What a delicious-sounding combination, very creative.

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Heather (Heather's Dish) December 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm

i’ve never had persimmon before but it’s beautiful! YUM :)

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Lyndsey December 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

How cute are your girls and what a lovely family you make! That is so precious that she says her best friend miss her. :D

I am in love with persimmons too, and your salad look wonderful! I love the simple flavors and beautiful colors!

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Damaris @Kitchen Corners December 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Are you going to Food Blogger Camp?

Anyway, I saw pics of your girl on another blog, I guess she’s your friend, it was a cute blog where the woman has two sons and they were cooking something…don’t remember.

Anyway, your baby is not a baby anymore. When did that happen? Sounds like you guys are having fun.

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Kaname650 December 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I’d love to try making this sunomono but the squirrels in my neighborhood stripped my kaki tree bare!!! For some reason they left my fuji apple and nashi trees untouched. Hmmm…..

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Karen from Globetrotter Diaries December 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Wow so creative! I love the sweet tanginess of sunomono. Great recipe!

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Angie December 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm

We really need to come visit you.

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EMK@eat, drink and be merry December 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm

This looks gorgeous! I’ve never thought of using pomegranate in sunomono…or probably I should call it namasu, especially since you are using daikon and carrots. Daikon and carrots namasu is a typical dish for New Year’s day. I miss Japan especially around this time of the year as I love osechi!!!

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Fuji Mama December 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

@EMK@eat, drink and be merry, I LOVE osechi! What’s your favorite dish? I love kuri kinton! And I’m a big fan of daikon and carrot namasu for New Year’s! So refreshing. Yeah, I thought about calling this a namasu, but because I went with my normal sunomono formula, I decided to stick with sunomono!

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EMK December 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

@Fuji Mama, Me too! I loooove kuri kinton! My mom cooked most of osechi from scratch, and kuri kinton was one of the most time consuming dishes, especially without a food processor… Since I love vinegar, daikon/carrot namasu and subasu are also my favorites. Oh, and datemaki, kazunoko! It’s not really an osechi dish but I love ozoni, too. Wow…now I really miss osechi. Maybe I’ll try to cook a few dishes this year.

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Cookin' Canuck December 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm

What a beautiful salad, Rachael. I have become quite taken with persimmons and wish that they weren’t so difficult to find here. I did find a few at the Asian market last week & was thrilled. It sounds as though you had a wonderful afternoon with Todd and Diane.

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Joy December 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm

That looks so good. My mom makes something similar. I can’t wait to tell her about the persimmons.

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Daydreamer Desserts December 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm

What??? I thought *I* was squirrel’s best friend? ;) By the way this salad is simply dreamy. Which reminds me… I think it’s time I go raid my cousins’ persimmon tree. XOXO

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Noriko December 9, 2010 at 6:17 am

Yum!! You’ve got me thinking to play around a bit with my osechi this year…

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Paula - bell'alimento December 9, 2010 at 7:58 am

Love Love Love!

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Eileen December 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

Oh it looks so lovely and fresh…. nothing is fresh in the midwest by this time of year.

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Nisrine | Dinners & Dreams December 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Lovely salad! The persimmons are gorgeous right now!

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Mika Takeuchi / Food Fashionista December 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Hello Fuji Mama!
Great to connect via Twitter. I love how you created a sunomono with pomegranates and persimmons. Such an appropriate and refreshing starter dish for the season. Cheers!

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martin December 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Great post, Rachael! Love the pics! Todd and Diane are awesome and their backyard is incredible!!

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Dee D. December 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Your daughters are so cute!
Love the sunomono, so colorful, and delicous looking!

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diane and todd December 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

that was a wonderful day, thanks for sharing your beautiful girls with us.
and the recipe looks so fresh, colorful and terrific!

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Chris December 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

What a great blend of flavors! I remember watching the sous chef making dashi while we were developing the dinner menu. Very cool. Definitely something I would like to try!

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Sarah November 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Thank you for the recipe

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