A Receipe for Vietnamese Pickles

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Do Chua Vietnamese pickles

Those familiar with Vietnamese food may have come across these brightly coloured, thinly sliced pickled vegetables sprouting out the sides of a ‘Banh Mi’ (roast pork baguette sandwich), or as an accompaniment to Banh Xeo (cripsy pancakes with marinated shrimps and chicken).

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In fact this staple of Vietnamese cuisine called ‘Do Chua’, is a kind of cross between pickled veg and Asian coleslaw. It is a tasty recipe that is so easy to prepare yourself at home that it would almost be a crime not to try it out!

It is composed mostly of two main ingredients, carrots and daikon (or mooli), which is a mildly flavoured, very large, East Asian white radish, which can found in food stores around China Town or even at your local Asian grocery shop.
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To prepare the brine you will need to add to these vegetables, some sugar, warm water, salt and distilled vinegar.
You will have then a basic Do Chua ready to savour and enjoy for at least 4 weeks if stored in a jar with lid and refrigerated straight way.

These healthy Vietnamese pickles, will add a touch of tangy sweet and sour crunch to many of your dishes Vietnamese or other!
Traditionally eaten with Banh Mi a very tasty sandwich that has grown in popularity in recent years, it can also be the perfect accompaniment to chicken, pork, beef or any roast meat dishes.

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It is so versatile that you can easily put together a Vietnamese salad by adding to those delicious pickles some sliced chicken, or king prawns along with Coriander, Sweet Thai Basil, Mint or any of your favourite aromatic herbs.

Mr Lee’s version, which has been tried and tested for years since he got the recipe from working in some of the best Vietnamese restaurant here in London, also includes garlic, chilli, and ginger, which according to him will not only add to the taste but if eaten on a weekly basis, will help as he puts it “make you strong! ”.

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For this Recipe you will need, the following ingredients:

2 large carrots
About 400g of Daikon
Boiling water, (Mr Lee’s tip to avoid excess, is to use the jar you will store the pickles in as measurement)
About 300ml of distilled vinegar
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
3 cloves of garlic
1 or 2 red chilies (depending on how hot you want your pickles to be)
1 small piece of ginger

Note: For the traditional basic recipe you can leave out the chili, garlic, and ginger.

Step 1: Prepare your vegetables:
Wash, peel and Julienne your carrots, daikon, and ginger into fine long sticks. Take your garlic and slice as fine as you can, then repeat the procedure with the chili and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Brine:
Boil some water and fill the Jar you want to store your pickles in then empty this water into a large bowl.
Add the sugar, the salt and stir well until dissolved.
Set aside and let the liquid cool down until Luke warm. Then add the vinegar.

Step 3: Combine all the ingredients together:
Put all the vegetables in your jar first and using a ladle, slowly pour in the brine until the sliced carrots, daikon, ginger, garlic and chili are totally covered.

Step 4: Enjoy!

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