I have always held out on making this on my own because it just looked like so much work. For years, I believed that making do chua was a long and tedious process of chopping up carrots and daikon. The thought of it always made me shudder with fear and then the very familiar general feeling of laziness. This was my belief until I saw the shredding cutting piece on my mother’s mandolin. I know what you’re probably thinking…. ahhhh DUH Scruff! But in my defence, I have never actually sat down and had a hard long think on ways to make vegetables easier to cut! Have you?
My family use these pickles in many of our dishes to add a bit of sourness. Especially with dishes that need some acidity to cut the saltiness like Vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc mam cham), vermicelli rice and spring rolls (bun cha gio) and Vietnamese savoury crepes (banh xeo).
As well as providing flavour to a dish, these pickles also give really good texture. This is very important in dishes like Saigon rolls / Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi). The do chua used here tend to be thicker strands which give a nice crunch every time you take a bite. However, it all comes down to personal preference. Admittedly, the major factor for me is the prep. Thicker slices require knife work and take much longer to pickle. I generally do not bother unless it’s absolutely necessary!
So, I advise you to play around with the ratios of carrot to daikon and the thickness of your cuts to find your perfect balance. I also advise you to use a mandolin or some other gadget that makes life easier. If not, make sure you have a good sharp knife and the afternoon blocked out! Good luck!
Vietnamese Pickled Carrot and Daikon - Do Chua
- 300 gm of carrots, peeled and shredded
- 200 gm of daikon, peeled and shredded
- 1/3 of a cup of sugar
- 1/3 of a cup of warm water
- 1/3 of a cup of palm vinegar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 clove of garlic (optional)
- Wash the pickling jars with washing detergent.
- Add cold water and the washed jars to a big pot and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and allow to boil for 10 minutes.
- Carefully takeout the jars out and allow them to dry naturally or with paper towels.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the water, palm vinegar, sugar and salt.
- In sterilised jars, add the carrot, daikon and garlic.
- Pour in the vinegar solution into the jars to cover the vegetables.
- Place the jars in the fridge for roughly 45 minutes before serving. (Note 1)
- Any cuts that are thicker than a shred will require longer to pickle. Always taste a few strands of pickle before serving to ensure that the flavour has developed.