What had me occupied all Saturday morning long? I really wanted Vietnamese sandwiches (Banh Mi) and had no pickled daikon and carrot (Do Chua). A Vietnamese sandwich without picked daikon and carrot is a naked sandwich and isn't worth eating. So what is a girl to do? Simple. Make it from scratch.
Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrot not only provides a tart and sweet crunch to Vietnamese sandwiches, but it is also added to salads and the famous Vietnamese fish sauce dipping sauce that goes with a multitude of other Vietnamese dishes. It's a condiment that is heavily used in Vietnamese cooking. I get to work in preparing a fresh batch when I see my supply in the fridge running low.
There are many variations of this recipe. Simply tweak the ratios of ingredients to your liking. For me, I like my pickled daikon and carrot on the sweeter side. Traditionally, the daikon and carrot are cut into matchsticks or long thin stripes. For this post, I decided to have them resemble pickle slices by slicing them into thin rounds with my handy dandy ginormous Asian peeler. For those who want to cut them into matchsticks or long strips, try using a mandolin to save time. As always, be careful using any kind of slicer. Losing a finger is no fun.
Recipe: Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrot (Do Chua)
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 medium daikon
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt for rinsing
- 3/4 teaspoon salt for brine
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- Peel the daikon and carrot.
- Cut them into matchsticks, long strings, or thinly slice round.
- In a large bowl, combine the daikon and carrot with 1 tablespoon salt. Mix well and let it sit for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out the excess water.
- Rinse the daikon and carrot at least twice to remove the salt.
- Squeeze out the excess water by squeezing a handful of the vegetables one at a time.
- Stuff the daikon and carrot into a jar.
- In a small pot, combine the water, sugar, vinegar and remaining salt. Heat on high until dissolved.
- Once the pickled mixture is cooled completely, pour it into the jar of daikon and carrot.
- Pickle for at least two hours. The pickled daikon and carrot can be refrigerated for up to two months.