Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Do Chua - Vietnamese Style Pickled Carrots and Radishes Recipe - Paleo and Cheap

When I got my hands on a lot of free carrots and radishes a couple of months ago, I wanted to figure out something amazing to do with them. I'd remembered reading about a Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickle on and decided to try to make my own take off from them, using regular radishes instead of daikon, and using non refined sweeteners instead of the white sugar often found in recipes.
Vietnamese carrot and radish pickles are an essential component of the famous Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi, a baguette filled with mayonnaise, chili pepper, cilantro, sliced cucumbers, soy sauce, a cooked protein of choice (from fish to meat to chicken to tofu) as well as these carrot and radish pickles. While not Paleo, I do want to try to make a banh mi inspired wrap, with those fillings and Vietnamese spicy sardines, a common component in banh mi sandwiches.  

I started off with this authentic do chua recipe and played around with the ingredients and proportions until they were to my liking, so I won't say my recipe is authentic anymore, but it is close enough that I think it still can be called do chua. 

Since that original time, I've often been able to get cheap or even free carrots and radishes and I've made them many times since. They are so delicious that my daughter will try to sneak fistfuls out of the refrigerator when I'm not looking. Every single person I've served these pickles to enjoyed them.

Best part about them? They are a great way to make past prime veggies last longer- the vinegar and salt preserves the vegetables, and these can easily last a few months in the fridge. I have not tried canning them, but I don't see why that wouldn't work (although it probably will take away from the crunch factor).

The way I make these pickles, they come out full of flavor, nice and tangy, with the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and salty. Feel free to adjust the ratio of vinegar to sweetener to suit your taste preferences- I use more vinegar and sweetener than in the original recipe. I've used date syrup, jaggery syrup, and honey as the sweetener in mine- white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar all will work as well, depending on your dietary needs/preferences and budget. Do chua doesn't typically have onions in it, but I find them a welcome addition.

If you aren't a big fan of the flavor of radishes, note that they don't taste radishy here, and even non radish lovers generally like them here. But if you want to leave them out, feel free and just increase the amount of carrots.

Do Chua - Vietnamese Style Pickled Carrots and Radishes Recipe - Paleo and Cheap

3-4 large carrots, or 1/2 a lb
3-4 large radishes or daikon radishes, or equivalent amount of small radishes or 1/2 lb
1-2 onions, purple or white (optional but preferable)
4 cups water
3-6 tablespoons sweetener of choice (to taste)
2 tablespoons salt
1/2-3/4 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar, but white or rice vinegar also works)

1. Peel your carrots and chop into thin spears.

2. If using small radishes, cut them into thin slices. If using larger radishes, chop them into thin spears.

3. Slice your onions into thin pieces.

4. Mix your onions, carrots, and radishes in a large container.

5. Mix the rest of the ingredients together, using the smaller amount of sweetener and vinegar listed at first, tasting it, and then adding more as desired.

6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour over the mixed vegetables.

7. Let cool before eating. I find these best after at least 12 hours have passed, allowing the vegetables to to fully absorb the flavors.


Have you ever had do chua, either homemade or not? Have you eaten them on banh mi sandwiches? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?
What is your favorite way, if any, to eat radishes? 

1 comment:

  1. Looks similar to a recipe I tried for Korean crunchy pickled radish. So refreshing and delicious! I eat it the way Koreans do - with fried chicken. Amazing as a palate cleanser.


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