Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pickled Carrot and Daikon

I made these pickles because I wanted to make bánh mì (which I'll be sharing tomorrow). I love the pickled daikon and carrot that my favorite local Vietnamese restaurant makes so I had those flavors in mind when I was developing this recipe. I'm not Vietnamese so I don't know what's traditional but I like my carrot and daikon pickles to be really sweet. I read that in some parts of Vietnam, the pickles tend to be a bit saltier and in other parts, there's a balance. If you're camped out on the sweet pickle side, then this recipe is one you might be interested in. If you're a salty or a somewhere in the middle type, then I don't know. You might think this recipe sucks; sorry.

Well, sweet ones (and not sweet ones), let's get going, shall we? Just to warn you, I decided to go my own way and added in some heat. I like putting my own spin on things I already like and turn them into things I love. If you're not a fan of spice, you can omit the peppers and move on with your life.
Ingredients:
3 cups carrots and daikon cut into matchsticks
½ cup water
½ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon + ¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon sea salt
+ 1 jalapeño chopped (optional)
I bought pre-cut carrot because I get annoyed trying to cut up their awkward tapered shape; plus they were on sale so why not? If you've got yourself some normal carrots, peel them and cut them into matchsticks. Peel the daikon and cut up similarly. Sprinkle the vegetables with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt. Toss together and then set aside for about 10 minutes. The salt and sugar will draw out some of the moisture and begin the seasoning process.
In a separate container, mix together the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. It'll start off quite cloudy and it won't seem like anything is dissolving but all of a sudden, it'll go clear again, like magic!
After the carrots and daikon have been sitting for a while, quite a bit of liquid will have settled at the bottom of the bowl. Drain them and then rinse them.
The carrots and daikon will be quite bendy. That's a good thing. It means they've lost enough moisture and now they're ready to be pickled and soak up the flavor of the brine.
Place the drained carrot and daikon in a glass jar.
Now, if you want to add a little bit of spice, roughly chop up the jalapeño and also add them to the jar.
Pour the brine over the ingredients and then close up the jar and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 36 hours for the most fully pickled flavor. These pickles are quite sweet, a little tart, with a bit of a kick and they're delicious on sandwiches, over vermicelli noodles, and as a side dish with rice. These will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, should they last that long.

Please come back tomorrow for my bánh mì recipe!
Here's the recipe page:

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