The Japanese turnip looks like an ordinary turnip, but tastes way better. It also goes by the name hakurei turnip, and is mild and sweet. It is best enjoyed raw. You just have to scrub it clean and you can then bite on it to enjoy the crunchy taste. If cooked, it has a buttery flavor. If roasted, it becomes sweeter. When you use these Japanese turnips with miso, you need both the greens and the roots (the white bulbs). It is rich in vitamin C and fiber, and can help prevent cancer.
Meanwhile, miso is a Japanese seasoning from soybeans and salt. The Japanese turnip is best cooked sous vide with the miso and butter to thoroughly infuse the flavor. For an effective sous vide, you need a vacuum sealer. You put the miso, butter and Japanese turnip inside the bag and vacuum seal it, then this bag is given the water bath or the sous vide. You can have any model or brand of vacuum sealer to do the job. The most common is the countertop model which can easily fit your kitchen counterspace. The fully automatic will detect your bag and slide it in, and with just one button, it starts operation and stops when it is done. See https://vacuumsealeradviser.com/best-vacuum-sealer-for-sous-vide for details.
When you vacuum seal your bag, not only do the flavors of the spices thoroughly infuse into your turnips, but it also ensures that no water will seep through inside during the water bath. Otherwise, water in the bag will adversely affect the flavors of your turnips. Another benefit when you vacuum seal it is it lasts longer so you can store the vacuum sealed bag in your refrigerator for a long time and when you need it, you just go ahead do the sous vide. While in the bag, the infusion of the flavors already happens. And your turnips will remain to be crispy and flavorful.
- Japanese turnip, scrubbed, with tops removed, 16 oz.
- Water, 1 oz.
- White miso, 1 oz.
- Unsalted butter, cut into halves, 1 oz.
- Sugar, ½ tsp.
- Green onions, thinly-sliced (for garnish).
- Set sous vide at 85 degrees Celsius;
- Put water in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat;
- When water is warm, but not boiling, whisk in the butter, one at a time;
- Whisk in the sugar and miso;
- Remove saucepan from fire and allow mixture to cool down;
- Cut the Japanese turnips vertically into half;
- Place in a bowl and add the mixture from the saucepan, stir to mix well;
- Pour the whole thing into a bag;
- Vacuum seal the bag;
- When the water bath has reached the desired temperature, put inside the vacuum sealed bag;
- Set for 30 minutes;
- When done, heat the saucepan in medium heat, and pour into it the whole contents of the bag;
- Cook for a minute or until liquid is reduced;
- You may use some of the liquid by dribbling it on top;
- Serve with the green onions as garnishing.
Tips about Japanese turnips
- You can use the Japanese turnips for soups, in salads, braised, glazed, fried or sautéed;
- You can use it without peeling them, unless if serving it to children;
- To clean, trim the ends and wash in cold water;
- If you are using the green tops, wash more thoroughly;
- The bulbs or roots themselves are best stored in the crisper of the refrigerator;
- The bulbs can last up to 10 days refrigerated, but the green tops will last shorter;
- It is a good source of carbohydrates, but with lesser calories, making it ideal for those on diet;
- It is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
Equipment you need
For vacuum sealing, you need a vacuum sealer. To choose the best one that fits you, here are some factors to consider:
- Price – from $40 upwards;
- Design – vertical vs. horizontal;
- Ease of use – manual vs. automatic;
- Extent of operation – some advanced models come with accessories that can vacuum seal canisters and containers, and not just bags.
For the sous vide, you need a water bath. In choosing, consider the following:
- Capacity – from 5 liters to 120 liters;
- Temperature stability – it should have a temperature stability of ± 0.05 °C;
- Heating power – speed water heats up;
- Price – from $200 upwards.
These two equipment work best to create good sous vide. The vacuum sealer infuses the flavors in, and protects the food and flavors from being saturated by water. The sous vide gives the water bath to thoroughly cook the food and further infuse the flavors.