I went to the Saturday Farmer’s Market and found a vegetable I hadn’t seen before, so I had to try it. Hakurei turnips or or Sweet Japanese turnips are small, pure white, sweet, and crunchy. I looked to the web to find out about them. The Cooking Channel’s Blog had this to say about them.
Hakurei are relatively new turnips that were developed in Japan in the ’50s when the country was suffering from severe food shortages due to World War II. Their surprisingly delicate, almost fruity flavor and crunchy texture accounts for their popularity. They’re delicious raw, but if you can resist the urge to simply pop them in your mouth, try shaving them into salads or slaws along with thinly sliced apples or pears. When cooked, they develop a buttery flavor and when roasted at high temperatures, their sweetness increases. The turnip tops are also tasty quickly sautéed with garlic in olive oil.
Hakurei turnips are versatile enough to pair with just about anything, and they’re excellent in gratins, stir-fries, soups, or roasted with other root vegetables. They can be braised, fried, glazed, or sautéed.
There’s no need to peel the Hakurei, simply trim the ends and wash them under cold water. The green tops do need a more thorough washing.
Hakurei turnips are a starch vegetable, yet they provide only one-third of the calories of an equal amount of potatoes making them ideal for dieters.
Turnips are an excellent source of vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber, as well as thiamine, potassium, and vitamins B6 and E.
When you remove the green tops, the turnips can be stored in the crisper drawer of the fridge for a week to ten days.
I decided I would cook up some of these jewels with a few of my favorite things – sweet potatoes, onions, peppers, and some chickpeas to add some protein.
And oh did it turn out good. Even the hubby and the daughter like them.