Spicy Xi’an carrot and daikon

Spicy Xi’an carrot and daikon

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

We adore the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an so much that we’ve never bothered to venture beyond it to see anything else around town (such as the Terracotta Army ... oops). It’s a true enclave with mosques, narrow laneways, atmospheric old low-rise buildings and some very unique food. This simple dish, with its gutsy, fiery, satisfying flavours is just one we loved — there were dozens more!


Quantity Ingredient
500g carrots
500g daikon
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
1 piece cassia bark, broken into smaller pieces
6 dried red chillies
3 teaspoons chilli flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
60ml light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
60ml black rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. Peel the carrots and daikon, then cut them into strips about 5 cm long and 5 mm wide.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over a medium heat, then add the garlic, ginger and dried spices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the carrot and daikon and toss to combine well. Add the soy sauces, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and 60 ml water. Bring to a simmer, then cover the wok and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until the vegetables just start to soften. Remove the lid, toss the carrots and daikon well, then cook for another minute to allow some of the liquid to evaporate — the vegetables should still be a little crisp. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature before serving.
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