Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrots

We finally had a couple of days off for much needed unwinding.

Cross-country skiing, flying down the slope skiing, hot tub, yoga… we are fully recharged!

Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrots

(Adapted from Vanh Khuyen)

2 large daikon radishes (peeled, about 1.5 kg net weight)
2 large carrots (peeled)
110 g kosher salt
220 g brown sugar
5 garlic cloves (minced)
2 Thai chilies (minced)
2/3 cup fish sauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar

  1. Cut peeled daikon into matchsticks, about the size of your pinky finger.
  2. Slice peeled carrot, about 1/8″ thick.
  3. In a large bowl, combine daikon matchsticks + carrot slices + 110 g kosher salt.
  4. Set aside for 1 hour.
  5. Discard salt water.
  6. Fill the bowl with cold water to submerge daikon matchsticks + carrot slices for 5 minutes.
  7. Rinse daikon matchsticks + carrots slices several times to remove all the salt.
  8. Let the vegetables drain.
    • Note: Or use a salad spinner to remove excess water from the vegetables.
  9. Put the vegetables back into the same large bowl.
  10. Sprinkle 220 g brown sugar on top.
  11. Use a plastic wrap to cover the vegetables.
  12. Place a large heavy bowl on top.
    • Note: you can fill the bowl with water to increase its weight.
  13. Set aside for 8-12 hours.
  14. Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to pick the vegetables and put them in a large clean jar.
  15. Add minced garlic + minced chilis in the jar.
  16. In a saucepan, pour 1 1/4 cup sugar marinate from step 13.
  17. Add to the saucepan 2/3 cup fish sauce + 2/3 cup brown sugar + 1/3 cup rice vinegar.
    • Note: you can add or reduce vinegar to taste.
  18. Boil the marinate liquid under medium-high heat.
  19. Skim and discard any foaming on top.
  20. After boiling, continue to let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
  21. Let the liquid cool down completely.
  22. Fill the vegetable jar with cool liquid marinate.
  23. Cover and set aside. The pickles will be ready in 2-3 days.
    • Optional: To store the pickles for up to a year, you will need an extra step. In step 23, after the pickles stay in the marinate liquid for about 12 hours, use a mesh sieve to drain the liquid back to the saucepan. Boil the liquid and let it cool completely. Pour the liquid back to the vegetable jar. Cover and set aside.