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Pickled Daikon and Carrots

Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrots are an essential part of my all-time favorite sandwich, the Vietnamese Banh Mi. These quick pickled veggies add just the right crunch and sweet-and-sour flavor.

close-up shot of a mason jar filled with pickled daikon radishes and carrots.

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And lucky for all of us, they are super easy to make at home! Like, so easy that you’re totally going to be kicking yourself that you didn’t learn how to make them sooner.

Pickled Daikon Radish and Carrots are served alongside other foods, especially fried or fatty foods like grilled pork, fried spring rolls, pan-fried crepe filled with pork and shrimp called banh xeo.

These Vietnamese pickles also feature prominently in Banh Mi., those delicious Vietnamese sandwiches on crusty French rolls. They add crunch and sweet-and-sour tang, which cuts the richness of high-fat fillings like crispy pork belly, grilled pork, or grilled lemongrass chicken thighs.

Why you’ll love these quick pickled daikon radishes 

  • Easy to make:  This pickled daikon recipe requires less than 5 minutes of hands-on time and is ready to eat after just 30 minutes of “pickling” time.
  • Light and refreshing: These Pickled Daikon and Carrots are crunchy, tangy, and a little bit sweet and salty. They’re a refreshing snack on their own.
  • Perfect counterpoint: These bright, tart pickles make a perfect counterpoint to fatty or rich meats like Air Fryer Pork Belly, grilled lemongrass pork, lemongrass chicken thighs, or fried foods like crispy Vietnamese spring rolls or banh xeo. 
overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make these quick pickles.

Ingredients you need

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

This Vietnamese pickled radish recipe requires only 5 ingredients. This recipe is similar to pickled korean radishes, which often include chili peppers and other ingredients, but this one is very simple. Here’s what you need to make these easy quick pickles!

  • Daikon radishes—This type of radish is common in Asian cooking. It looks kind of like a giant white carrot, is on the mild side for a radish, but with a distinctive radish flavor. You can find daikon radishes in the produce section of many supermarkets or at Asian markets. They are often used to make Korean pickled radishes.
  • Carrots—Carrots give this pickle some extra sweetness and also a beautiful splash of color. I love the way the white daikon and orange carrots look together.
  • Rice vinegar—Use unseasoned rice vinegar, which you can find in most supermarkets, in Asian markets, or online. Some recipes add both water and either apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar. I prefer to use rice wine vinegar because it is nice and mild. This way there is no need to dilute the pickling liquid with water.
  • Sugar—I just use plain granulated white sugar here.
  • Salt—I always use kosher salt. You can substitute pure sea salt if you like.

How to make it

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

These quick daikon and carrot pickles are so easy to make, you hardly need a recipe. Here’s how:

  1. Peel and slice the vegetables.
  2. Toss the vegetables together with the sugar, salt, and vinegar.
  3. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.
  4. You can store the pickled radishes and carrots in glass jars, in their pickling liquid, for up to 2 weeks.

I like to use a mandoline to slice the daikon and carrots because I can get nice, thin, uniform slices quickly. To me, that’s easier than pulling out the food processor or painstakingly julienning the vegetables by hand.

But if you prefer your vegetables shredded or julienned, by all means, cut them that way. The traditional way to cut them is in matchstick pieces, so there is certainly an argument for it.

low angle shot of a jar of pickled daikon radish and carrots.

How do you serve these quick Vietnamese pickles?

My favorite way to serve Pickled Daikon and Carrots is piled high on a banh mi sandwich, like this amazing Pork Belly Banh Mi made with crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly. I also love them with any grilled meat, Instant Pot Spare Ribs, Char Siu, Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken, Air Fryer Pork Belly, Air Fryer Sesame Chicken, or just straight out of the jar.

If you love quick-pickled vegetables, try this Cucumber Kimchi. Spicy Cucumber Salad is really a quick pickle, too, layered with spicy, salty, sweet, tart, and umami flavors.

Yield: 1 pint

Pickled Daikon Radishes and Carrots

Overhead shot of pickled daikon and carrots in a jar.

These quick pickled veggies add just the right crunch and sweet-and-sour flavor. And lucky for all of us, they are super easy to make at home!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 small daikon radish (or ½ large daikon), peeled
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Shred, slice, or julienne the carrots and daikon.
  2. Combine the carrots and daikon in a medium bowl and add the sugar, salt, and vinegar. Toss to mix well.
  3. Let stand for about 30 minutes (or more) to soften the vegetables and infuse them with flavor.

Notes

1. I like to use a mandoline to thinly slice the carrots and daikon. Alternatively, you could use a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, shred them in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade, shred them using the large holes of a box grater, or cut them into matchstick pieces with a sharp knife.

2. These pickles are ready to eat after 30 minutes, but they are even better after they’ve sat for several hours or overnight.

3. You can store the pickled vegetables in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 37Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 170mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 1gSugar 7gProtein 0g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on May 16th, 2022

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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4 thoughts on “Pickled Daikon and Carrots”

  1. I first tried these when I was in Ho Chi Minh and have been craving pickled daikon ever since – these did NOT disappoint – delicious!

    Reply
  2. So perfect!
    I made these for an easy pickle to go with our quick cheats Banh Mi (deli meat!!) and they were perfect.
    Going to check out your Pork Belly Banh Mi and make these again as we loved them!

    Reply

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