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

The Easiest Đồ Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Carrot & Daikon)

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Đồ Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Carrot & Daikon) is the popular accompaniment for numerous Vietnamese savory dishes, including Bánh Mì, Cơm Tấm, and Rice Noodle Salad (like Bún Bò Xào).

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, a method involving soaking food in an acidic brine to create a sour flavor, as opposed to fermentation, where foods sour due to a chemical reaction between naturally present 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) and Dưa Muối / Dưa Chua (Fermented Mustard Greens).

Đồ Chua, together with Mỡ Hành (Vietnamese Scallion Oil), Sốt Sate (Vietnamese lemongrass chili sauce), and Nước Mắm Chấm (Dipping Fish Sauce), are the most versatile condiments and should be a staple in your kitchen if you’re a Vietnamese food enthusiast.

Versatile condiments in Vietnamese cuisine:

🙋‍♀️ What to serve with Đồ Chua

Đồ Chua is a common side dish in Southern cuisine, while in the North, Dưa Góp (a similar pickled vegetable side dish) is prepared with carrot and green papaya (or kohlrabi). It is frequently served alongside many of Hanoi’s signature dishes, such as Bún Chả, Nem Rán, or Bún Bò Nam Bộ.

Close-up of a bowl filled with Hanoi-style dipping fish sauce, garnished with sliced carrots, kohlrabi.
Hanoi-styled Dipping Sauce with Dưa Góp

Vietnamese Cuisine focuses on the balance of flavors and nutrition. That’s why you’ll often find greasy, deep-fried, or high-fat dishes like Nem Rán, Bột Chiên, Bánh Xèo, Gà Nướng Xả or Sườn Nướng served alongside an abundance of fresh lettuce, herbs, and a fermented or pickled vegetable side dish.

Đồ Chua is often served with:

Finer shreds of Đồ Chua are also added on Nước Chấm (dipping sauce) or Hoisin – Peanut Sauce for Gỏi Cuốn to enhance their visual appeal.

🥕 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?).

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

📝 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.)
julienned carrot and daikon
  • Create the vinegar solution by combining vinegar, sugar, and water.
do chua brine
  • 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.

FAQ

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.

📝 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.

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

The Easiest Đồ Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Carrot & Daikon)

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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 2 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)

2 Comments

  1. 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.

    • Thank you for your feedback. I recommend that you could try my grilled lemongrass pork chops with rice. Add some Vietnamese scallion oil, and then serve them with nước chấm dipping fish sauce and đồ chua (all recipes you can find on my blog). In Vietnam, we call it “cơm sườn nướng”—you won’t be disappointed!!

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