Đồ Chua (Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickles) is the popular accompaniment for many Southern Vietnamese dishes.

In this blog post, I will guide you on making Đồ Chua with an easily memorable ingredient ratio and the simplest, yet flavor-centric, approach.

Do chua (vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon) in a jar.

What is Đồ Chua?

In Vietnamese, Đồ Chua translates to “Sour Stuff.”

It’s prepared through pickling method. Pickling involves soaking food in an acidic brine to produce a sour taste. This process differs from fermentation, where foods become sour through a chemical reaction between naturally occurring sugars and bacteria.

Do chua are crunchy, colorful Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickles that are often served with various popular Vietnamese dishes like Banh Mi, Bun Cha Gio, Banh Xeo, and more. They're very easy to make, taking only 15 minutes, and you can prepare a large batch to keep in the fridge for up to one month.

Much like Korean cuisine with Kimchi and various banchan dishes, pickling and fermenting are also popular cooking techniques in Vietnamese cuisine. In addition to Đồ Chua, we have:

  • Dưa Giá (pickled bean sprouts with garlic chives)
  • Dưa Món (pickled veggies in fish sauce brine)
  • Dưa Chua (fermented mustard greens)

Đồ Chua is extremely popular in Southern Vietnamese cuisine. Along with scallion oil, lemongrass chili oil, and Nước Chấm dipping sauce, it can be found in almost Southern dishes.

Ingredients

For the vegetables: The commonly used vegetables for Đồ Chua are carrots and daikon. Kohlrabi is an excellent substitute for daikon.

In my opinion, the ideal ratio of daikon to carrot is 3:2. You can adjust it to your preference, but remember that daikon should outweigh the carrot.

For the brine: the ratio of rice vinegar (5%), sugar, and water is a simple 1:1:1 (easy to remember, isn’t it?).

Instructions

  • Peel carrot and daikon.
  • Julienne the veggies to your preferred size. You can use a mandolin slicer, a vegetable shredder, or cut them into thin strips by hand. (Ensure the strips maintain some thickness for crunchiness.)
  • Create the vinegar solution by combining vinegar, sugar, and water.
  • Place the vegetables in a jar or container, then pour in the brining liquid, ensuring everything is submerged.
  • Refrigerate it for about 8 hours before enjoying.

What to serve with Đồ Chua

Vietnamese cuisine focuses on the balance of flavors and nutrition.

That’s why you’ll often find greasy, deep-fried, or high-fat dishes always served alongside an abundance of fresh lettuce, herbs, and a fermented or pickled vegetable side dish.

You could find Đồ Chua served with many Southern dishes, such as:

1

Rice noodle salads

Delicious Vietnamese Bun Bo Xao - A flavorful noodle salad dish with tender stir-fried beef, fresh herbs, and rice noodles, topped with peanuts and served with Vietnamese dipping sauce.
2

Dipping Sauce

3

Bánh Mì Sandwich

Close-up photo of a delicious Banh Mi Pate sandwich. The sandwich features a crusty baguette filled with layers of savory pate, fresh vegetables, cilantro, and pickled carrots.
4

Cơm Tấm (broken rice platter)

A mouthwatering plate of Com Suon Nuong, also known as Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops. The grilled pork chops are beautifully charred, tender, and full of aromatic lemongrass flavors. Served with steamed rice, this traditional Vietnamese dish is a true delight for the senses.
  • It’s the essential part of the Cơm Tấm dish, just like Lemongrass Pork Chops, Steamed Egg Meatloaf, and Shredded Pork Skin (Bì).
5

Greasy or deep-fried dishes

Bánh Xèo - Vietnamese sizzling crepes with shrimp, pork, and mung bean sprouts, served with fresh herbs and dipping sauce.
  • Bánh Bột Chiên (fried rice cake with eggs)
  • Bánh Xèo (crispy pancakes)
  • Bánh Khọt (mini crispy pancakes)
  • Bánh Tôm (sweet potato & shrimp fritters)

The Northern counterpart of Đồ Chua is Dưa Góp, made with carrot and green papaya (or kohlrabi). It is often served with many of Hanoi’s signature dishes, such as Bún Chả (Northern rice noodles with grilled pork) and Hanoi Spring Rolls.

Bun Cha Dipping Sauce

FAQ

Đồ Chua

Do I need to salt the vegetables to remove moisture?

No need to salt the vegetables, but it can help them absorb the brine more quickly. It may also slightly reduce the pungent smell of daikon, but the effect is not very significant. If you choose to do so, refer to my instructions below for making quick Đồ Chua.

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Make Đồ Chua in less than 40 minutes

This method is ideal for preparing a smaller batch of Đồ Chua. Salting the vegetables and using warm water for the brine can significantly accelerate brine absorption.

Do chua: carrot and daikon strips soaked in the brine.
  • Toss the veggies with a pinch of salt for 15 minutes (about 1/2 tsp salt for 1.1 lbs / 500g of carrots and daikon). Rinse them thoroughly and gently squeeze to remove excess moisture.
  • In a pot, combine water, vinegar, and sugar (ensuring there’s enough liquid to cover all the vegetables). Warm the brine to around 160°F (70°C), stirring well to completely dissolve the sugar.
  • Pour the brine over the vegetables. After waiting for 20 minutes, you can enjoy it with various Vietnamese dishes.

Substitutes

  • If daikon is not available, you can substitute it with kohlrabi or green papaya. Actually, I frequently use kohlrabi over daikon since it’s more affordable in Germany.
  • You can also use this brine with various other vegetables, such as cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli (both the buds and stems), and morning glory / water spinach (rau muống).
  • You could use rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar or distilled vinegar for the brine.

Helpful Tips

  • If you plan to store Đồ Chua for an extended period, remember to sterilize the containers.
  • Tossing the veggies with a pinch of salt before brining may slightly reduce the pungent smell of daikon, but not significantly.
  • Do not leave the pickles at room temperature, as they could become overly sour.
  • Be careful when using mandolin slicer or vegetable shredder since it could be very sharp. Wear a cut-resistant glove during this process.

More Vietnamese recipes to make at home

Vietnamese iced coffee (Ca Phe Sua Da)
Vietnamese Coffee
Vietnamese Avocado Smoothie
Vietnamese Avocado Smoothie
Vietnamese roast chicken
Roast Whole Chicken
Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings, cooked in an air fryer. Crispy, golden-brown wings with a glossy sauce. Vibrant colors, enticing aroma, and delightful flavors.
Air-Fryer Fish Sauce Chicken Wings

Thanks a bunch for giving my recipe a shot! If you enjoyed it, I’d truly appreciate a 5-star rating or a comment to let me know your thoughts.

And don’t forget to stay in touch with me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and YouTube 🥰.

Do chua (vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon) in a jar.

Vietnamese Carrot & Daikon Pickles – Đồ Chua

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Đồ Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Carrot & Daikon) is a well-loved accompaniment for various Vietnamese savory dishes. In this blog post, I will guide you how to prepare Đồ Chua with an easily memorable ingredient ratio and the simplest, yet flavor-centric, approach.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Condiments
Cuisine Vietnamese

Equipment

  • Mandolin slicer
  • Vegetable shredder

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb daikon (450g)
  • 0.7 lbs carrot (320g)
  • 1.5 cup water (375ml)
  • 1.5 cup sugar (375ml)
  • 1.5 cup rice vinegar (5%) (375ml)

Instructions
 

Simple way

  • Begin by peeling the carrots and daikon.
  • Next, julienne the vegetables to your desired size. You can use a mandolin slicer, a vegetable shredder, or by manually cutting them into thin strips. Maintain some thickness in the strips for a satisfying crunch.
  • Prepare the vinegar solution by combining vinegar, sugar, and water.
  • Transfer the prepared vegetables into a jar or container, then pour in the brine, ensuring all the vegetables are fully submerged.
  • Finally, refrigerate the pickles for about 8 hours before enjoying.

Express Đồ Chua (ideal for a small batch)

  • Toss the julienned vegetables with a small pinch of salt for 15 minutes (1/2 tsp salt for 1.1 lbs / 500g of carrots and daikon). Then, rinse them thoroughly and gently squeeze to eliminate excess moisture.
  • In a saucepan, mix together water, vinegar, and sugar, ensuring there's sufficient liquid to submerge all the vegetables. Heat the brine to about 160°F (70°C), stirring thoroughly until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Pour the brine over the prepared vegetables. After a 20-minute wait, your quick Đồ Chua will be ready to enjoy with a variety of Vietnamese dishes.

Notes

Substitutes:
  • If daikon is unavailable, you can replace it with kohlrabi or green papaya.
  • This brine can also be employed with a variety of other vegetables, including cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli (both the buds and stems), and morning glory / water spinach (rau muống).
  • For the brine, all rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and distilled vinegar work well.
Helpful Tips:
  • If you intend to keep Đồ Chua for a long time, don’t forget to sterilize the containers.
  • Sprinkling a bit of salt on the veggies before brining can help lessen the strong smell of daikon, but it won’t make a big difference.
  • Don’t leave the pickles at room temperature as your pickels will become overly sour.
  • When using a mandolin slicer or vegetable shredder, be cautious because they can be quite sharp. It’s a good idea to wear a cut-resistant glove during this process.
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5/5 - (46 votes)

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Ong KC
Ong KC
4 months ago

5 stars
I made this for Banh Mi. It came out so nice. I used only 1/3 of sugar as we are on low carb/starch diet. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Leftover brine I used to pickle leftover cucumber & onions. Also nice. Planning to use the pickles as salad toppings.

Anonymous
Anonymous
17 hours ago

5 stars