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Snap: a Jar of Do Chua

January 2, 2010

I am so easily distracted it’s ridiculous. I go to check my email and somehow it’s three hours later and I’m reading about satsumas on Wikipedia. It doesn’t lend itself to being very productive, but it does mean I often learn something that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Most of the time it’s something interesting, but completely useless (i.e. a sound understanding of satsuma cultivation and history) and I fear for what has been shoved out of my brain to make room for said useless trivia.

On one such a random meander I stumbled upon a recipe for Do Chua which is Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrot. I know that right before that I was salivating over pictures of various banh mi (delicious Vietnamese baguette sandwiches), but how I ended up looking at them is anyone’s guess. In any case, hoorah! It’s always great when it’s something useful I blunder upon.

I’ve pickled vegetable before (at work; I used to chef); that was years ago and it was for a Western-style pickle. I figured the recipes would be much of a muchness, but I followed Andrea Nguyen’s recipe loosely anyways. Avoid her website, Viet World Kitchen, when you’re hungry, but otherwise dive in! It’s packed with great tips, recipes and more.

I didn’t have any daikon on hand, so I made the Do Chua with just the carrots. It was missing the contrast obviously, but it was still super tasty. I’m going to serve it with breakfast in a couple days (Filipino breakfast: tapsilog). So without further ado, here’s the recipe I adapted from Andrea (click here for the original recipe).


INGREDIENTS

1-1.5 large carrots (cut into thin matchsticks)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 cups distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup lukewarm water


METHOD

1. Place the carrot sticks in a bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and of sugar.

2. Knead the carrot for 2 – 3 minutes. The mixture will draw out the water from the carrots and should leave them slightly softened. Pour the liquid from the bowl whenever a substantial amount accumulates in the bottom of your bowl.

3. Pour the carrots into a strainer and rinse under cold water while gently squeezing the remaining liquid from the carrots. Put the carrots in an air-tight jar.

4. Stir the 1/3 cup sugar through the vinegar and the water until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into the jar, so that the carrots are completely covered.


All done! The Do Chua will need to sit in the brine for at least one hour before it’s ready to eat and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.


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