One of the reasons why I love love love Vietnamese sandwiches (banh mi), is that they contain pickled daikon radishes and carrots. These pickled daikon radishes and carrots are very easy to make and are a great side dish to almost any meal. Enjoy them with a bowl of Vietnamese beef noodle soup (pho tai) (see recipe here), or a dish of meat and rice, or add them to your rice paper rolls (see recipe here). These are also a great accompaniment to Korean food (see my beef short ribs (kalbi) recipe here). I love making my own pickled vegetables, because I can control the salt and sugar content. If you are not sure what to do with your leftover daikon radishes, you will find a list of different recipes that use this radish here.
Pickled Daikon Radish and Carrot Recipe
Notes: This recipe makes several jars of pickled vegetables, but this recipe halves well. Also note that some people like a 1:1 ratio of radish to carrots, but I prefer a higher ratio of radish to carrots, so feel free to adjust the recipe to your preference. Finally, be sure to adjust the seasonings to your personal taste, as some people prefer a saltier brine, where others prefer a sweeter brine. Personally, I prefer a more sour brine.
1 medium sized white daikon radish, peeled
2 small to medium sized carrots, peeled (or more if preferred)
4 cups warm water
2 tablespoon coarse Kosher sea salt
10 tablespoons granulated white sugar
up to 2 cups of white vinegar (Note: Some recipes call for rice vinegar, but I much prefer the taste of daikon radishes and carrots that have been pickled using white vinegar.)
Cut the daikon radish and carrots into thin (or thick, if you prefer) matchsticks that are approximately 2 inches long. Place them in a colander to allow any excess liquid to drain off. Meanwhile, make the brine. In a large bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the warm water. Then add half of the vinegar. Since some brands of vinegar can be much more sour than others, I suggest starting with 1/2 of the vinegar and then adding more to taste one or two tablespoons at a time. Adjust all seasonings (salt, sugar, and vinegar) to taste. I prefer a brine that is sour with a subtle saltiness and just enough sugar to cut and slightly dull the vinegar, but you could add more sugar to taste if preferred. Allow the brine to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place the matchstick daikon radishes and carrots into sterilized glass jars. Then pour the brine into the glass jars until it almost reaches the top. Make sure that the brine is able to cover all of the vegetables but not able to touch the lid of your glass jars. Store in the refrigerator. These will be ready to serve after the vegetables have been soaking in the brine for at least 8 hours. These will keep for about 1 week. Enjoy this pickled condiment in Vietnamese banh mi (sandwiches), in rice paper rolls, or as a side dish for various other dishes.