A Very Sour, Very Tasty World
By Karima Danao
Whenever I start missing the food of Vietnam, especially their beloved sandwich that I keep on trying to replicate at home, I go on an ingredient hunt and restock my fridge with familiar flavours. One of them is do chua, Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon.
It’s a cinch to make and is the reason why the humble bánh mì sold on the streets of Hanoi or Saigon is one of the most interesting sandwiches in the world. Cutting the carrots and daikon into large matchsticks reminded me of the popular achara (Filipino pickled green papaya) that accompanied every purchase of lechón we made on the way to the beach. There aren’t many types of pickles that I eat but having friends from other countries exposed me to different pickled condiments that they enjoy. There’s kimchi from Korea (spicy pickled cabbage), gari from Japan (pickled ginger that usually accompanies sushi), preserved lemons from Morroco which is often used in tagines, mango pickle from India, pickled jalapeño from Mexico, pickled herring from Scandinavia and sauerkraut from Germany.
Who knew that a good quarter of our planet preserve their food by pickling? I traveled back to Vietnam with this recipe of do chua. I can’t wait to stuff them into some great bánh mì soon!
How about you? What do you pickle from your side of the world?
Do Chua (Pickled Carrots & Daikon)
Recipe adapted from White on Rice Couple
|1/4 kg||daikon or white radish|
|3 cups||warm water|
|3 tbsps||white or rice vinegar|
|3 tbsps||granulated sugar|
Prepare glass jars by sterilizing in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Julienne the carrots and daikon. Pack the jars with vegetables, leaving an inch of space from the top.
Mix water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour into the jars covering the vegetables but leaving space from the top. If the solution is still warm, leave to cool completely at room temperature. Replace the lid and tightly seal jars. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Note: Try using jicama in place of daikon or radish. It’s equally good!