In culinary contexts, “daikon” or “daikon radish” (from its Japanese name) is the most common in all forms of English, although historical ties to South Asia permit “mooli” (from its Hindi name) as a general synonym in British English. The generic terms “white radish”, “winter radish”, “Oriental radish”, “long white radish”, etc. are also used. Other synonyms usually vary by region or describe regional varieties of the vegetable. When it is necessary to distinguish the usual Japanese form from others, it is sometimes known as “Japanese radish” or “true daikon”. The vegetable’s Mandarin names are still uncommon in English; in most forms of Chinese cuisine, it is usually known as “Chinese white radish” although in Cantonese and Malaysian cuisine it is encountered as “lobak”, “lo pak”, etc. In the cuisines of Hokkien-speaking areas such as Singapore, it is also known as “chai tow” or “chai tau” and, in South Asia, as “mooli”. In any of these, it may also simply be referred to as “radish”, with the regional variety implied by context. In English-speaking countries, it is also sometimes marketed as “icicle radish”.
The most common variety in Japan (aokubi-daikon) produces an elongated root in the shape of a giant white carrot approximately 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) in diameter. Most Chinese and Indian forms are roughly similar.
The turnip-shaped “giant white radish” or “Sakurajima radish” is cultivated around Kagoshima in Japan and grows as large as 50 cm (20 in) in diameter and 45 kg (100 lb) in mass.