RECIPE: Do Chua (Vietnamese pickled vegetables)

Do chua is carrot and mooli (aka daikon radish), pickled in salt, sugar and vinegar.  It’s the key ingredient in what is undoubtedly one of the world’s GOAT sandwiches – the banh mi. It keeps well in the fridge and is a really good addition to salads and sandwiches which after you make a batch, you can have on hand at all times. Also, as it’s fermented it’s believed to be rich in numerous bacteria which are of benefit to your gut.

Carrots 2-3 large
Mooli (aka daikon) roughly the same weight
White sugar 5 tbsp
Salt 2 tbsp
White vinegar 250ml
Water 500ml (bottled is arguably better than tap, but not essential)

If you’re lucky enough to have a food processor with a julienne attachment, peel your carrots and daikon and whack them through it.  If not, you’re going to have do it by hand with a knife.  It’s pretty time consuming but the finished result is far superior to grating or using a julienne peeler.  You’re looking for sticks about 5cm long and roughly 3-4mm in diameter.

Once you’ve got the slicing out of the way, put the veg in a large bowl and add a tablespoon of sugar.  You then need to massage the veg, making sure each stick is covered and squeezing them gently.  After doing that for about a minute, add a further tablespoon of salt a repeat the massage for 2 minutes.  You then need to leave them for at least 30 minutes for the sugar and salt to work their magic.  I also like to put a small plate on top of them and weight it down with a tin can or similar.

You’ll know they’re ready when you can bend a carrot stick between your thumb and forefinger without any resistance.

Rinse your veg under the tap and shake off as much water as you can.  Place in a large jar and add 4 tablespoons of sugar, 250ml vinegar, a tablespoon of salt and about 500ml of water.  Leave out of the fridge for 2-3 days to start fermenting.

After that they’ll keep for at least a month in the fridge.  You can get a slight musty smell when you open the jar.  This is nothing to be concerned about and will disperse after a few minutes.