Technicolor Vietnamese Pickles (Do Chua)
Asian pickles do not adhere strictly to Western pickling methods (quick pickles, salt-brined etc) nor do we have a tradition of canning using sterilized jars and such. This method is a combination of quick pickles and salt-brined pickles and they’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to a month. But they hardly ever last that long. This combination makes a sweeter pickle so adjust according to your taste. Use them in bánh mì sandwiches or Vietnamese vermicelli noodles.
Time: 45 minutes, 15 minutes active
Makes: 1 quart
5 carrots (about 2 pounds) in white, burgundy, and orange
6 large celery sticks (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
1 cup rice or distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Dried chilies (optional)
Peel and cut the carrots crosswise into thirds.
Place the carrots and celery in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with salt. Mix well and let the vegetables sit for about 30 minutes to draw out moisture and allow the pickling brine to penetrate the vegetables more thoroughly for better texture and flavor. They should be soft and pliable at the end of it. Rinse and drain.
While the vegetables are sitting, make the pickling liquid by combining the water, vingar and sugar in a medium bowl. Heat the pickling liquid in the microwave on high for one minute. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely.
Pack the carrots, and celery and dried chilies, in two pint-sized (16-ounce) jars. Divide the pickling liquid between the two jars. Seal and refrigerate.
Steep for at least 2 hours and enjoy. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for four weeks, if they’re not gone by then!