vietnamese pickled daikon and carrots – and a beet! (do chua)

DayGlo of the 1980s, right here in your food ::::

Fashion comes and goes. It never fails in hindsight that we realize that some of our fashion choices are just ridiculous. I remember being a teenager in the 1980s and never thinking what we wore seemed silly (side ponytails? pegged jeans? starched Polo collars?), with one exception: DayGlo clothing.

Why would anyone think that wearing a shockingly neon pink sweatshirt, with matching screaming neon yellow socks, and a painfully bright neon green bow in the hair be a good idea? Perhaps if we were directing air traffic, signaling cars of our bicycle on the road, or doing a Wham! music video, the choices would make more sense. My interest in jumping on this bandwagon was fleeting, just as much as I looked at the oncoming neon glares coming down the school hallways.

I’ve found as an adult that neon colors are extremely distracting to children. My friends long ago were under the same trance as my children. These colors not only dictate certain fashion choices, but can often trick some people into eating that food of said neon colors. Peach and Grub actually liked these Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrots (do chua), not just once, but three days in a row.  I know it wasn’t just a fluke. And that little addition of the beet is the key for your DayGlo colors.


Think of this recipe as timeless food fashion. Neon in your pickled vegetables never goes out of style. And what better than the usual lowly beet but to provide this haute couture  of pickles. Making this dish without the beets is perfectly flavorful, but the element of fun, of that DayGlo memory surge, and piquing your childrens’ vegetable consumption will be missed.

the secret to your success...

Reminder: this is a refrigerator-based recipe (no sterilization/canning prep needed), so store your creation properly. There also isn’t much sugar in this pickling mixture which makes it perfect for a few nibbles for people with diabetes, gestational or not. I’ve been fine with eating about 1/4 cup, balancing my vegetable portion for a particular meal with some non-pickled raw vegetables on the side.

The next post: Eat and I are back from Portland, Oregon for a weekend away from the kids. More to come on our food sampling, walks, and our fill of comparing strangers’ tattoos, once I get my photos offloaded.


One year ago: smoky popcorn

Two years ago: buckwheat salad with mushrooms, fennel, and parsley oil and quick pickled cucumbers (Funny that I was thinking about this almost exactly 2 years ago!)


5.0 from 1 reviews
vietnamese pickled daikon and carrot (do chua) with beets recipe
Recipe type: vegetable
  • ½ pound daikon radish, peeled
  • ½ pound carrots, peeled (mine were small, but the larger circumferenced ones are better)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • a few small chunks of roasted red beets, peeled and cooled (Want to know how to roast beets? Check out my post on beet dip with goat cheese.)
  • SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: one 4 cup (1 quart or 946 ml) jar. Ziploc bags are okay, but don't reuse/recycle for this recipe. You may end up with a bag with minute holes and a large pink puddle in your fridge.
  1. Wash daikon and carrots. I sliced with the 3.0 setting on my mandolin, though matchsticks are great too. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, salt, sugar, and water until the sugar dissolves. Add the carrots and daikon to the mixture and marinate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. If you want some shocking pink vegetables, add a few chunks of roasted beets to the mix and allow to marinate for days (for best color). Recommendations for marinating for best flavor is about 5 days. I did 4 days and the taste and shocking color were just as I wanted.
  4. serving vegetable for gestational diabetes = about ¾ cup (I'm accounting for some added sugar) = about 5g total carbohydrates.

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