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Daikon Salad & Preschool

May 25, 2010

We came back to the D.C. metro area in the summer 2008. My oldest child was 3 and 9 months at the time. I immediately started looking for a school for her after we settled back in the States only to find out that most popular preschools had lottery back in February and there was no openings. I was also flabbergasted by how expensive preschools are in the D.C. metro area.

My daughter started preschool education in Japan. The amount I paid there was nothing compared to how much parents pay for preschool education in this area.

In most cities in Japan, there are private and public preschools. Needless to say, public options are cheaper than private options. My daughter went to a private preschool in Okinawa, Japan. Japanese preschool education starts from a 3-year-old class and is for 3 years, but I found a preschool which had a 2-year-old class, so my daughter started with a 2-year-old preschool class from April, 2007 (Japanese school year starts in April). It was from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 5 days a week. They served lunch 3 times a week and kids took packed lunch twice a week. I was paying a little less than $200 month for this including lunch. (This school was subsidized by the city government, which helped reduce the tuition.)

I searched and searched for a preschool for my daughter after we returned to the States in August, but everywhere I called, it was either wait listed or too expensive for us to afford. I finally found a church preschool which had an opening for once a week slot in a 3-year-old class thanks to my friend. I happily took the slot. I was excited to be able to provide her with an opportunity to interact with other children of her age and I was happy that I had an opportunity to do stuff with my younger child, which usually ended up being the time to run errands such as grocery shopping.

Then later in October, one of my friends gave me a flyer with some information about a preschool program in a neighborhood high school. This high school has a classroom dedicated to a preschool program and students at the high school who take an early childhood development class come to the preschool classroom with a teacher to have hands-on experience. There is also a preschool teacher who stays with the preschool children at all times just like a regular preschool. This preschool is for 2 and a half hours a day and it is run from Monday through Friday. I loved that my daughter had a chance to interact with “big sisters and brothers”.

Since my daughter was already attending the church preschool and liked it so much, I didn’t want to pull her out from there. I ended up taking her to the church preschool once a week and the rest of the week to the high school preschool. I’m glad it all worked out. Had I not found these preschools, I don’t know what I would’ve done.

It has been busy two years. We don’t have families near by and we cannot afford to hire a nanny, so I have been the sole care giver to my kids during the day. It hasn’t been easy, but in retrospect, it has become valuable experience for me. Soon my oldest will start kindergarten and I will probably reminisce about the hectic days I spent juggling two kids. Life as a parent in this city was not as easy as I imagined and now I have much respect to stay-at-home parents. Parents in the U.S. work harde.


On a complete different note, I made this salad tonight. This obviously has nothing to do with preschool I wrote about above. This is how I roll. I just wanted to share this recipe with you. I’ve been wanting to make this for a while.

This recipe is from my friend, Yumi. She’s a friend of mine who is a color consultant and I wrote about her in my blog. She got this recipe in China where she and her family lived before. She one time brought this salad to a potluck party I had at my place and I fell in love with it. I ate all the leftover salad!

The daikon radish I bought was not a good quality. This picture below is after I sliced the surrounding parts. Can you see how the core of the daikon is spongy. I wouldn’t eat that part just because it won’t taste good at all.

I pretty much ate half of daikon tonight. I kid you not. I love it that much!

Happy cooking!


daikon radish ………. 1
salad oil ………. 3 tbsp
sugar ………. 1 tsp
green onions ………. 5 green onions

1. Cut daikon into strips. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle some salt over it. Leave it for about 2 hours. The water from daikon is drained. I think this also helps reduce the bitter taste of daikon. Squeeze the strip daikon to get rid of water.

2. Chop green onions. Heat oil in skillet. When the oil gets hot, remove it from the heat. Pour green onions in the hot oil. Let the flavor of green onion spread in the oil. Add sugar.

3. Mix the daikon radish and the dressing.

That’s all! Simple yet yummy!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2010 7:54 am

    I’m glad you like it, Kaho!!
    Adding sugar to something like this is so Shanghainese, but it really does add a flavor to it.

  2. Ara permalink
    May 30, 2010 7:33 am

    Hi, first of all what does it taste like.. er…the daikon I mean? I didn’t like it the first time I ate it because it was bitter minty and it leaves an odd taste inside as well as in my gums. Oh well, I still would like to try your recipe it sounds or rather it looks like yummy and healthy indeed. By the way, you might like to try using a stainless steel container when you decided to pack your lunch. Do prefer choosing a stainless steel tiffin carrier from plastic ware types/plastic bags as your lunch container because stainless steels are safer. You can check a list of product at Happy Tiffin. They have many eco-friendly, stylish tiffin container to choose from.

    • June 1, 2010 10:55 pm

      I’m sorry that the daikon you had for the first time was bitter. It’s kind of hit or miss. There are some bitter ones out there. The thin end is usually bitter than the part closer to the leaves, so if you are not using the whole daikon, using the top part should help prevent getting the bitter part. I would put lots of salt and after soaking with salt, you just rinse it. By the way, thanks for the packing lunch tip.

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