DNX FOOD Recipes Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon (radish)

Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon (radish)

Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon (radish) post thumbnail image

Pickles are an essential part of Vietnamese food! These pickled carrots and daikon (white radish) are easy to make and last for 2 months in the fridge. They’re served on Vietnamese noodle bowls (like these), alongside meats and for Banh Mi (crispy pork is my favourite!). I pretty much always have some on hand.

Vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon

If you’ve been to Vietnam or Vietnamese restaurants, you’ve probably seen these pickles which are commonly served alongside meat dishes, on noodle bowls and stuffed with abundance inside Banh Mi.

They are a regular side in traditional Vietnamese dishes and I keep squeezing this recipe in. And it finally dawned on me to file it as a separate recipe!

Also, these pickles are generally just great to have in the fridge – for picking at, adding into salads and on the side of non-Vietnamese dishes (it’s not against the law!) – and last at least 2 months.

What they taste like – Vinegary but less sharp than typical western pickles (thanks to the rice vinegar), erring more towards sweet and not that salty. Carrot and daikon (white radish) is ideal because they retain a nice crunch for great texture!

Pickled vegetables for banh mi


Here’s what you need for these Vietnamese pickles:

Chicken Banh Mi ingredients
  • Carrot and daikon (white radish) – These vegetable retain terrific crunch when pickled which adds great texture to dishes. Either use a knife to cut into thin batons or a mandolin that will julienne vegetables into 2 mm thick batons which is wider than typical julienne graters (including my own). Don’t be tempted to shortcut cutting the vegetables by using a box grater. I tried (the lazy cook in me couldn’t resist) – and it just wasn’t the same. A big vinegary pile of coleslaw-like mush. I missed the crunch!

  • Rice wine vinegar – This is the vinegar used for the pickled vegetables, an Asian vinegar made from rice. Substitute with apple cider vinegar.

  • Salt and sugar – For pickling. These pickled vegetables are a bit sweet and bit salty, nice balance between the two. I often find Western pickles too sweet or too salty. I think you’ll like the balance of these Vietnamese ones.

How to make Vietnamese pickles

It’s extremely straight forward: just dissolve the sugar and salt in a large bowl with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Then add the vinegar and vegetables and set aside for at least 2 hours or until the vegetables become a little floppy. But they will still have a nice crunch rather than being unpleasant mush, and that’s the way they will stay for at least 2 months.

Amount of each vegetable to use – You can use as much daikon and carrot as you can fit so they are all covered in the liquid. I tend to use equal amounts of each, but I’ve seen places that use more daikon and less carrot, and vice versa. Personal taste I guess, or what’s cheaper at the markets!

How to store – Keep the vegetables submerged under the liquid in glass jars or containers in the fridge for up to 2 months. I have read online that they will last for longer but I haven’t tried. I just ate some from my fridge that are just over 2 months old and they still have a nice crunch to them.

How to use – If you intend to use them all straight away, then drain in a colander and serve. If you only plan to use some, then just pick out what you need, much like you would any pickles from a jar, and consume as is. Just put it straight onto a serving plate or bowl (like the Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Noodle Bowls below), or serve in a little dish and let people help themselves!

Vietnamese noodles with lemongrass pork (Bún thịt nướng) ready to be eaten

What to use Vietnamese pickles for

  • Alongside any Vietnamese meat, such as Lemongrass Pork, Vietnamese Chicken and Bun Cha (Vietnamese meatballs)

  • Stuffed into Banh Mi (I’m posting this recipe with my Crispy pork Belly Banh Mi which I also published today)

  • On Vietnamese noodle bowls and rice bowls (using the pork and chicken, see those recipes)

  • Stuffed in Vietnamese lettuce wraps or rice paper rolls

  • Anything Asian or Asian-y that you want something tangy and crunchy to pair with (Char Siu pork and Momofuku Pork Bossam spring to mind)

  • Pick at it like you do your favourite pickles!

Hope you enjoy – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon (radish)

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5 from 3 votes
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Recipe video above. If you’ve been to Vietnam or Vietnamese restaurants, you’ve probably seen these pickles which are commonly served alongside grilled meats, on noodle bowls (like lemongrass chicken, pork and meatballs) and stuffed generously in Banh Mi! Keeps for 2 months in the fridge – keep the vegetables submerged in the liquid in airtight jars or containers. Excellent with all sorts of Vietnamese food.


Pickled vegetables:

  • 2medium carrots, peeled cut into 3mm / 1/10″ batons (Note 1)
  • 1/2large daikon (white radish), peeled, cut the same as carrots (Note 1)
  • 1 1/2cupsboiling water
  • 1/2cupwhite sugar
  • 4tspcooking / kosher salt
  • 3/4cuprice wine vinegar(sub apple cider vinegar)


  • Pickle – In a large bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water. Stir in vinegar. Add carrots and daikon – they should just about be covered.
  • 2 hours – Leave for 2 hours until the vegetables are slightly floppy.
  • Using – Drain well to use, or just take out what you need (no liquid, just the vegetables).
  • Storing – The vegetables will keep in the fridge for 2 months, in the pickling liquid. Use airtight glass containers or jars (not plastic).

Recipe Notes:

1. Carrot and daikon – it’s hard to quantity the amounts but basically you want the same quantity of each, and enough so it is just covered by the pickling liquid. Can’t find white radish? Double up on carrot!In Vietnam I’ve seen mixes with more carrot/less daikon, and vice versa. Use as much as you can as long as the vegetables are just about submerged in the liquid.2. STORAGE: Keep for 2 months (likely longer!) in an airtight container the fridge submerged in the liquid, like you would any other pickle!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 624cal (31%)Carbohydrates: 46g (15%)Protein: 38g (76%)Fat: 31g (48%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 142mg (47%)Sodium: 1474mg (64%)Potassium: 905mg (26%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 11640IU (233%)Vitamin C: 17mg (21%)Calcium: 155mg (16%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

Life of Dozer

He doesn’t realise it’s just vegetables!

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