Growing up, my mom almost always had a bottle of kosher dill pickles in the fridge and it was often my after school snack. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but it is true. As I got older, I fell in love with Japanese pickles, I loved the variety they had and found them to be less pungent in general.
Where do I get my fix of pickles in Hong Kong nowadays? Well, I frequently buy pickled daikon and other Japanese pickles from CitySuper and Sogo’s FreshMart. These supermarkets have their own kiosk that offer a variety of pickles. ThreeSixty also has a great selection.
I recently came across Adam Liaw’s recipe for Pickled Carrots & Daikon (Do Chua) and I decided to give it a try. I figure it must be way cheaper to make my own pickles than buying from fancy supermarkets. FYI, I am loving Adam Liaw’s new cookbook Asian After Work, and I am dying to try some of the recipes. I became an avid fan of Adam Liaw’s after he won the MasterChef title in Season 2. [Oh, I guess it’s no surprise I am a MasterChef junkie.]
Pickled Carrot & Daikon
250mL white vinegar
1 daikon (Chinese white radish or Japanese daikon)**
2 tsp salt
1 bird’s eye chili thinly sliced (optional)
2 Mason jars
Sterilize the Mason jar’s. I sterilize mine by washing them with detergent and then placing them in a large pot with water. Make sure the water completely covers the jars. Turn the heat on high and once the water boils, start your timer and allow to boil for 15 minutes. Just when you turn off the heat, add the lids to the water. Keep the jars in the hot water bath until you are ready to jar your pickles.
In a small saucepan, stir together the white vinegar, water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Cut the daikon (I used the Japanese daikon) and carrots into matchsticks. Adam’s recipe cuts them into very thin matchsticks. But, I prefer thicker matchsticks (1/2″ x 1/2″ x 4″).
Mix the salt with the daikon and carrots in a bowl. Rub the salt into the vegetables for a few minutes until each matchstick can be bent so that the ends touch without breaking. Transfer the vegetables to a sieve and rinse under water. Drain.
Place the daikon and carrots into the Mason jar’s and cover with the cooled vinegar solution. If you prefer to add a bit of kick to the pickles, you can add the chili. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The pickles should last in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
*The recipe calls for caster sugar, but I didn’t have any and just used granulated sugar.
**The recipe uses 1/2 daikon and 2 carrots, but because I love daikons, I used 1 daikon and 1 carrot.
Source: Adam Liaw’s Asian After Work