One of the reasons I love Vietnamese food so much is that the majority of meals achieve the perfect balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet. Do chua, or pickled daikon and carrots, is a popular side that adds both sour and sweet elements. If you’ve ever had a bánh mì, the Vietnamese sandwich on a crusty bun, you’ve already tasted do chua.
Shredded carrots and daikon are tossed in salt and sugar and massaged until they’ve softened and released some of their liquid. Everything is then tossed in a sweetened vinegar mixture and left to marinate for an hour or so. Do chua is great not only in bánh mì, but is a perfect addition to rice bowls, noodles, or lettuce wraps. Pickle fans will also probably love it straight from the jar…
Do Chua- Pickled Carrot and Daikon
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 5
Total Time: 1 hour
* 1 cup white, rice, or rice wine vinegar
* 3/4 cup water
* 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
* 1 small daikon radish, peeled and shredded
* 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
*1 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, water and 1/3 cup of sugar and set over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then let the mixture come to a boil. Let boil for 3-4 minutes, without stirring. Remove from heat and let cool.
While the syrup is cooling, place the shredded daikon and carrot in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Use your hands to work the salt and sugar into the shredded vegetables for 2-3 minutes; the vegetables should have released some water and reduced in volume a bit.
Place in a colander and rinse with cold water. Press or squeeze gently to release any extra liquid or rinsing water. Place the rinsed vegetables in a bowl and cover with the vinegar mixture. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.