Tuesday, October 13, 2009


One of my earliest memories of pickling with my parents was when I was 6yrs old. My parents had these huge wide mouth one gallon glass jars that would pickle different veggies. I fondly remember them making Som Pak Gaht (pickled mustard greens), spicy kimchi, some sort of sweet and sour pickled veggies (radishes, napa cabbage, green onions, and other veggies I can't remember), and of course the pickled chili peppers to eat with pho.

I thought I would attempt pickling. I have a great love for banh mi and I like to have some pickled carrots/daikon for when the banh mi craving hits me. I had bought some ready pickled carrots/daikon from the Asian market once and it tasted awful. It wasn't anything like the pickles from my beloved Saigon.

I searched the interweb for a recipe and found this one :
1/2 lb. carrots -shredded in food processor, sliced in thin rounds or thin match-like strips.
1/2 lb. daikon radish – cut same as carrots.
3 cups warm water
3 Tablespoons distilled or rice vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you want your pickles
2 tablespoons salt

1. Mix warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt until everything is dissolved. Choose a pitcher or bowl with a lip that can be used for pouring mixture.

2. Peel, wash and cut daikon & carrots to desired size. Combine both together in bowl and blot dry with paper towel.

3. Fill carrot & daikon mixture into a tight lid jar, bowl or similar container.

4. Pour liquid salt mixture into carrot & daikon container till full. Close lid and let it pickle for about 3-5 days, or till desired sourness. For immediate use, let marinade for about 1 hour.

Pickled Thai Chili Peppers
When I eat pho (my most favorite dish since I was a little girl) I only use certain condiments and garnishes. I like to season my bowl of pho with some fish sauce, sugar, white pepper,and lime juice. Then I top it with fried garlic, chopped green onion and cilantro, lots of bean sprouts, and Thai basil. And I always have a small dish with pickled thai chili peppers and shrimp paste (kapi).
I don't have an exact recipe for this.
*Fresh peppers, cleaned and stems removed
*Cloves of garlic, peeled
*Distilled white vinegar, enough to fill entire jar
I put my peppers and 2 garlic cloves in my small jar. I then poured some vinegar into a measuring cup and added 3 T sugar and 1 t salt and stirred. I then added the liquid into the jar and added more vinegar until the entire jar was all the way filled with liquid. The pickle is left out on the counter for 2 days then afterwards refrigerated.
I hope it turns out good. I look forward to eating a lot of pho and noodle soups now.