As a regular accouterment of Vietnamese cuisine, pickled daikon and carrots are great as a little side nibble with your rice and meat dishes or as an addition to your salad. The crunchy texture, and sweet and sour taste adds that extra little touch to your meal. You might have tried a Vietnamese ‘banh mi’ sandwich before, and this is one of the essential ingredients to complete the full banh mi experience.
The pickled daikon and carrots are usually thinly shredded, but while I was growing up, my mum also made them in coin-sized slices for easier enjoyment. At home we used to eat them straight from the jar like Americans eat their pickles.
- • 1 pound (450 grams) daikon, julienne shredded
- • 1 pound (450 grams) carrots, julienne shredded
- • 2 teaspoons sugar
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 10 whole peppercorns
- • 2 cups (475 grams) of boiled water
- • 1 cup (200 grams) of sugar
- • 2 ½ cups (350 grams) white vinegar
- 1. Julienne cut the daikon and carrots. You can use a julienne slicing tool or cut them crosswise into 2 ½-inch (6 cm) long segments, and then again into ¼-inch (1/2 cm) thick strips.
- 2. In a large bowl, hand-toss the daikon and carrots together with sugar and salt until the vegetables begin to soften. As a test, the vegetables are soft enough once you can bend a piece of daikon without it breaking.
- 3. Transfer the vegetables to a colander, rinse with cold water and let drain.
- 4. Make the pickled liquid by mixing boiled water, sugar, and vinegar together. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the pickled liquid cool off.
- 5. Add the vegetables and peppercorns until they are packed tightly into a 2 quart (2 liter) jar, and pour the pickled liquid over to cover. Seal the jar and put it in the refrigerator.
- The pickled daikon and carrots are ready to be eaten the next day, but the flavor will enhance over time. It will last about 4-6 weeks sealed in the refrigerator.