These traditional refrigerator pickles – Do Chua – are a typical condiment that accompanies many classic Vietnamese dishes. You might be most familiar with them on banh mi sandwiches, but you’ll also find them beside rise plates, noodle bowls, and salads. They’re easy to make, and you need not make a ton at once. These small-batch carrot & radish pickles uses a big handful of radishes and one carrot, and will make a small jar to tuck away in your fridge.
Some versions of these pickles call for shredded (julienned) carrots and use daikon radish. I like using ordinary garden radishes when I have an abundance of them, and with such small round items, it makes sense to me to produce round sliced pickles. I use a little mandolin to produce slices of uniform thickness, about 1.3 mm — but anywhere up to 2 mm will be just fine. Do your best to make slices the same size.
These pickles go together very quickly. There’s no need to heat the vinegar to make the brine, as long as you stir the sugar and salt well into the vinegar/water mixture so that it’s all dissolved. You will probably have more brine than you can fit in the jar; I thought it better to make too much rather than risk having too little to cover the vegetables completely.
The general process is quite simple: you want to start with an equal weight of radish and carrot slices. Mix them together, put them in a jar, cover with a seasoned brine, and refrigerate. Simple small-batch carrot & radish pickles, done.
Small-batch Carrot & Radish Pickles
- 10 medium radishes
- 1 carrot peeled
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- Slice the radishes very thinly - by weight, you should end up with about 95g. Slice the carrot likewise, and weigh that as well: ideally you'll have 95g of carrots, but a little over or under won't matter.
- Mix the sliced vegetables well, and pile them into a jar. I used a 12-oz Ball jar here.
- Make the pickling brine: mix white vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
- Pour the brine over the carrots and radishes in the jar. Submerge the veggies completely.
- Close the jar with a lid, and refrigerate. The pickles are edible within 2 hours or so, but the flavor improves with an overnight rest.
- Store these pickles in the refrigerator, and plan to use them promptly: they'll keep for about 3 weeks.