Đồ Chua Recipe – Vietnamese Pickled Daikon & Carrots

a jar of Vietnamese do chua / pickles

If you’ve had Vietnamese food, you’ve probably at some point caught a whiff of these pungent pickles. Đồ chua literally means “pickled stuff.”

Weird right? It makes no sense to have such a generalized name because the vegetables in it don’t change–it’s always carrots and daikon.

But anyways, like pickles in other cuisine, they go well with salty or fatty foods. It’s great on Vietnamese sandwiches (bánh mì), savory crepes (bánh xèo), grilled pork and noodles (bún thịt nướng), egg rolls (chả gìo), and the list goes on. Larger cuts are usually found next to cuts of meat, while finer shreds are put in nước chấm (dipping sauce).

Daikon vs. Carrot Ratios

sliced daikon and carrots

I learned that in Vietnam, đồ chua is mostly daikon simply because it is cheaper and carrots were added mainly for color. Here in the US the costs of these veggies are flipped so cost-conscious restaurants and shops will load up on the cheaper carrots.

In fact, when my parents first emigrated to the US, most restaurants in California didn’t use daikon at all.

Today, most restaurants I visit use a 50/50 mix of daikon and carrots. It’s what I grew up with and in this recipe, we’ll stick with that for familiarity. Before we get started, here’s a few notes on how to make đồ chua.

A Customized Recipe

This recipe was specifically formulated by my Mom to be slightly less pungent and less sweet compared to the recipe you will find at most Vietnamese shops. This less vinegary formula is simply a matter of preference, and it will make your đồ chua last longer in the fridge before it expires.

Following this recipe also creates đồ chua that’s ready to be added to nước chấm to taste–you won’t need to ring out or rinse the pickles beforehand.

If you’re in a rush and want to eat these within a few hours and don’t care to save extras for another day, adjust the solution for a higher vinegar to water ratio.

Preparation Tips

So peel and then shred your veggies to the size you want. Smaller matchstick cuts will get more sour than larger ones. Use a mandolin slicer for more uniform cuts. A good mandolin like the one I linked is extremely sharp.

My aunt admitted she gave up and donated her mandolin cutter after trying it out, but she did it bare-handed! Make sure to use a (magical) cut-resistant glove so you can cut all the veggies down to the little bits and reduce waste.

a mandolin slicer with cut proof glove

Next, we want to sprinkle salt on the daikon and carrots and mix it thoroughly. This removes some of the odor, and color. If you let it sit longer than 15 minutes, more salt will be absorbed.

Note how the carrots and daikon lose their rigid shape, get a little softer and wobblier after the salt gets to work on them. They release water too. Rinse thoroughly and lightly squeeze in batches to remove excess moisture. Drain and dry.

water pooling after soaking in salt

Transfer into jars and top off with the vinegar solution.

do chua in an open jar

Depending on the weather or where you store these jars, it should take about 2-3 days until its sour enough and ready to eat. Taste a piece every 12 or 24 hours to check on the progression of pickling.

What do you eat with Đồ Chua?

Đồ chua is great on Vietnamese sandwiches (bánh mì), savory crepes (bánh xèo), grilled pork and noodles (bún thịt nướng), egg rolls (chả gìo), and the list goes on. Larger cuts are usually found next to cuts of meat, while finer shreds are put in nước chấm (dipping sauce).

How long do pickled carrots last?

Pickled carrots can last up to five months in the refrigerator, but as long as they haven’t become too sour its ok to eat.

Are pickled vegetables good for you?

Pickled vegetables, like đồ chua, have a lot of healthy benefits due to the fermentation brine that creates good bacteria for your gut and overall body.

do chua Pinterest image

a jar of Vietnamese do chua / pickles

Vietnamese Daikon & Carrot Pickles Recipe (Đồ Chua)

The pickly crunch you should master since it's in so many Vietnamese recipes. Luckily Vietnamese pickles (Đồ Chua) is cheap and easy to make!
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin
Author: Huy Vu
Prep: 20 mins
Pickling: 3 d
Total: 3 d 20 mins
Servings: 3 small jars
Calories / serving: 532kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb (226.8 g) daikon radish
  • 1/2 lb (226.8 g) carrots
  • 1 tbsp salt

Vinegar Solution

  • 1/2 c boiling water
  • 5 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp distilled vinegar

Instructions

  • Peel daikon and radishes, then cut with mandolin slicer medium to small matchsticks. Smaller cuts will pickle faster.
  • In a large bowl, sprinkle with salt evenly and toss to coat. Soak for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove the salt and in small handfulls, squeeze to remove as much moister as you can.
  • Add to jars, filling almost to the top.

Vinegar Solution

  • Boil water then add sugar, mix to dissolve, then add vinegar.
  • Add the liquid to jars to fully submerge daikon & carrots. Add extra water if needed to cover the veggies.
  • Screw on the lids, store at room temperature until pickled to your taste, checking every 12 or 24 hours. It usually takes 2-5 days depending on the temperature.
  • Refrigerate when ready, for up to 3 weeks, or until too sour or veggies lose their crunch.

Notes

12/6/2012 - I prefer the taste of daikon to the carrots in this. You can mix up the ratios of each to your own liking. I like around 85% daikon and 15% carrots.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Serving: 0g | Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 131g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7195mg | Potassium: 1241mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 116g | Vitamin A: 37889IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: carrots, daikon, pickles, radish
I'd love to see what you cook up!Mention @HungryHuy or tag #hungryhuy to notify me

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25 thoughts on “Đồ Chua Recipe – Vietnamese Pickled Daikon & Carrots

  1. Paulina says:

    5 stars
    Definetely love it in Banh Mi! 🙂

    1. Huy says:

      Yesss, sometimes people put too much in it for my taste. I like the pickles milder. Less stick, more crunch.

  2. Shannon says:

    Do you recommend a mild rice vinegar, or something stronger like white or cider vinegar?

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Shannon! I honestly haven’t experimented with other vinegars to answer that. I use distilled white.

  3. Nick says:

    This is great! I got turned onto Vietnamese food by my friend in high school. His mother didn’t speak much English and she thought all us white boys looked alike, but she was nice and cooked some awesome food. We love Vietnamese food in our family and now ever Sunday night is bun thit nuong night. Thanks for the tasty recipes!

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Nick, glad to hear you enjoy Vietnamese cuisine enough to have it every week!

  4. Jason says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for the easy to follow instruction. My family love it.

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Jason, I’m glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe. I’m due to make another batch :). Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Richard Blaine says:

    5 stars
    I do love pickled veggies from all walks of life. The first time I pickled veggies was with my mother and we just made country style pickles! I LOVE picked carrots and cauliflower but this recipes looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Huy says:

      I’m with you on that Richard. Pickles are delicious! Cauliflower immediately brings to mind the ones you find at Mexican salsa bars. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. May says:

    Hi Huy, I just want to say that it has been years since I saw that veggie peeler : )

    1. Huy says:

      Hey thanks for leaving a comment May. Yep thats my little cheapo peeler. There are definitely better tools available, but likely few with that ‘Vietnamese’ vibe 🙂

  7. KD says:

    5 stars
    HI Huy! Glad I found this site. My questions: I didn’t see where you said what size the pickle jars should be and how many you need to make this? Also, a lot of recipes I have seen have the sugar and salt mixed with the veggies to leach out the water. Does just using the salt get rid of the “stinkiness”? Thanks! 🙂

  8. Kirsten says:

    Huy, hi! I thought I sent a question about the diakon and carrot pickle but don’t see it here. Your picture shows 3 ball jars. Is that how many are needed to fit this entire recipe? Or do I need more than that?

  9. Kirsten says:

    Sorry for all the questions. I see recipes where people add fish sauce. Is that also authentic? I haven’t added stars because I haven’t made the recipe yet. I need to know how many jars I need before I start.

    1. Huy says:

      Yeah for this amount (1lb total) 3 or 4 jars should do the trick. Fish sauce is added just before you eat only, not to prepare the pickles. Let me know how this works out for you Kirsten!

  10. Helen says:

    Would I be able to get away with making with a grater for (non-vietnamese) people? ie I love it but could not do that with a knife.

  11. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    I made your pickled carrots and daikon yesterday morning. They are the perfect level of acid and sweet! We put them on Banh Mi last night with home-made paté, cucumber, parilla leaves, mint leaves, and mung bean sprouts, on french baguette. I don’t know if that’s authentic but it was super delicious!

    1. Huy says:

      Heck yea glad you liked it Sarah! Thanks for trying it out, and sharing with us 🙂

  12. Rochelle says:

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious, and brought back lots of wonderful memories from Vietnam!

    1. Huy Vu says:

      Wow thanks for sharing Rochelle 🙂

  13. Elizabeth says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe several times with carrots, daikon, and even red onion. It couldn’t be easier and tastes great in salads and pitas and on sandwiches.

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Glad to hear and thanks for the suggestion Elizabeth!

  14. STEPHANIE COULSHAW says:

    Just a heads up that the sugar amount is hard coded into the recipe and won’t be adjusted if you change the amount you are making. I made a third of a batch as a test and used only 5 teaspoons of sugar – one third the amount written in my printout.

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Ahh sorry about that! I just updated the recipe so it should be working properly now.

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