Daikon radish and carrots pickled in rice vinegar and sugar is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine; it’s a great-tasting (and visually attractive) combination. You see it most often on bánh mi sandwiches – but with their clean, fresh, sweet-and-sourness, they’re great over rice, in a salad, or as a garnish for dipping sauces. Or even just as something to snack on.
Having made this with both rice vinegar and white vinegar, I can say that it’s worth getting the rice vinegar if you don’t already have some in your pantry – there’s something off and a little aggressive about these pickles when they’re made with white vinegar, which probably has to do with rice vinegar’s lower acidity level. The only thing remotely difficult about this recipe is the amount of julienning you’ll have to do – you can use a mandoline if you have one, or you can shred the vegetables with a grater (or the grating disk on a food processor), but all that chopping is a good excuse to practice knife skills, so, hey, why not? Just don’t cut off a finger.
Daikon radish and carrots pickled in rice vinegar and sugar is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine; it’s a great-tasting (and visually attractive) combination. You see it most often on bánh mi sandwiches – but with their clean, fresh, sweet-and-sourness, they’re great over rice, in a salad, or as a garnish for dipping sauces.
Peel and rinse the daikon and carrots, and julienne them into fine strips. (You can use a mandoline for this, or you can take the opportunity to practice your knife skills.) Put the daikon and carrots into a bowl and toss with the salt. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Put the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir to make sure the sugar's dissolved, then remove from the heat and let cool.
Transfer the daikon and carrots to a colander, and rinse thoroughly. Squeeze out small handfuls of the vegetables to remove as much water as possible, then transfer them to a bowl. Pour the cooled vinegar-and-sugar mixture over, and toss to combine.
Let the mixture marinate at room temperature for an hour, then either serve or transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate. The pickles should keep around three weeks. (When you open up the container, the daikon will have a distinct smell. It's not entirely pleasant. It won't taste bad or anything, but you can open up the container, leave the room, and come back in a little bit if the smell's not doing it for you.)