Kiriboshi daikon is a dried preserved food made of daikon, Japanese white radish, and is often dried together with carrot. By drying the radish under the sun, the sweetness will increase and the taste will be savory. The first step to cook kiriboshi daikon is by washing with water, and soak in water until it gets soft. Either mixing with soy sauce and vinegar as raw, or simmering are the most common ways to eat kiriboshi daikon.
The name kiriboshi daikon is a common way to be called, and Kiriboshi means slice and dry. But in the Western Japan, it is often called sengiri-daikon meaning shredded daikon. In any region, it is also called hoshi-daikon, simply meaning dried daikon.
It is not sure when kiriboshi daikon started to be eaten in Japan. However, since cultivation of rice started in the Yayoi period around 3rd century BC, the radish was introduced to Japan from the continent, and it is possible that people already started to eat kiriboshi daikon back then.
The cultivation of daikon prospered during the Edo period (1603-1867), and processed daikon such as pickles and kiriboshi became popular. In that period, raising daikon was encouraged because the nutritious balance of daikon was proved, and kiriboshi daikon which is preservable for months was useful when famine has occurred.
Drying daikon under the sun also helps to contain nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, which the raw daikon does not contain. Kiriboshi daicon is rich of dietary fiber, which helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body, and prevent hardening of the blood vessel.