The Hakurei, or Tokyo, turnip is a Japanese variety that’s crisp, juicy, and delicious raw, as anyone who’s recently cadged a sample at the Keith’s Farm stand can attest. They work wonderfully in salads or slaws, but cooking enhances their natural sweetness. 5 Ninth chef Daniel “Chino” Parilla likes their even-textured density, and plays up the Japanese motif by braising them in mirin and white soy sauce and serving them with hamachi, but he believes they’re versatile enough to go with just about anything. The greens-topped tubers are abundant now at several Greenmarket stands, including Keith’s, Yuno’s Farm, Hawthorne Valley Farm, and Windfall Farms.
Daniel “Chino” Parilla’s Braised Hakurei Turnips
6 Hakurei turnips, tops removed
2 cups cold water
3/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup white soy sauce
Trim turnips and peel with a vegetable peeler. (1) Cut the turnips into sixths and (2) place them in a saucepan with the remaining ingredients. (3) Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; cook very slowly for about 15 minutes, or until just tender. Let cool to room temperature in the braising liquid, then drain and serve with steamed or roasted fish.