Do Chua

Lately I’ve been working on refining my recipe for thịt heo nướng (Vietnamese grilled lemongrass pork). So when my friend Beth (@foodgodtess, came by for Sunday dinner a few weeks ago, I decided that rather than just eat the stuff straight off the chaunr grill like I had been doing, we should class it up a bit and make bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwiches.

Note that the French-style bread used for making bánh mì is called, appropriately enough – bánh mì).

I grabbed bread from Lee’s Bakery, but no bánh mì is complete without the sweetness of do chua (Vietnamese pickles). A quick Google search showed that these were even easier to make than I had thought, so it was off to grab a daikon and some big-ass carrots. The recipe I settled on was from Viet World Kitchen.
I’m reprinting the recipe from her site (completely without permission, so click on her link and check out her site – great resource for Vietnamese recipes!). She even addresses how to deal with the inevitable stink that comes with pickling daikon.

Do Chua

Makes about 3 cups

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 pound daikons, each no larger than 2 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1  1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water

1. Place the carrot and daikons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Use your hands to knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, expelling the water from them. They will soften and liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl. Stop kneading when you can bend a piece of daikon so that the ends touch but the daikon does not break. The vegetables should have lost about one-fourth of their volume. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, then press gently to expel extra water. Return the vegetables to the bowl if you plan to eat them soon, or transfer them to a 1-quart jar for longer storage.

2. To make the brine, in a bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, the vinegar, and the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the vegetables. The brine should cover the vegetables. Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Beyond that point, they get tired.

Recipe from: Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors (2006, Ten Speed Press)


  1. Did he mention that this meal was heaven? And the chaunr grill is so cool I bought one too. Now I just have to put it together…..

  2. Now I want one of those grills!

    I’m a fan of Andrea Nguyen’s site. I use her method for making Ngoc Cham. I’ll have to give this Do Chua recipe a try soon.

  3. I found mine on ebay. They’re kind of hard to find in the US. I was about to build one myself. The sheet metal on mine is pretty thin – I figure once I wear it out I’ll give in and build one the exact way I want it.

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