Just Pickle It – Part I

Remember back in June when my girlfriend Carolyn introduced me to making jam/jelly? Well, her most recent culinary interest involves pickling things. She’s tried pickling various things over the past year and is working on perfecting the craft. I jumped at the chance to join her when she invited me over to her place to pickle some carrots and daikon.


I became kind of obsessed with thumbing through Carolyn’s copy of The Joy of Pickling and now I also think I need Linda Ziedrich’s other book, The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves. We used the recipe as inspiration and just sort of did our own thing from there.

Carolyn is a master at moving through the kitchen at warp speed. I was snapping photos left and right with two different cameras and reminding her that this blogger needs to document everything. It became a running joke between us. I would tell her that she was failing as a blogger and as I carried cutting boards full of things outdoors to photograph them, she would take extra time staging the next round of things appropriately… She showed me that she indeed rocks and needs to get crackin’ on her own blog.


We gathered up the necessary ingredients and got to work on making jars of Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish.


  • 2 Large Daikon Radish
  • 8-10 Medium Sized Carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons Sea Salt   (Note: the recipe in the book called for 1/2 teaspoon of pickling salt, but we chose to use sea salt and 1/2 a teaspoon wasn’t enough – but 2 Tablespoons probably could have been reduced to 1-1 1/2 as the final product was a bit on the salty side.)
  • 4-6 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Seasoned Rice Vinegar

I’ve always be very fond of matchstick Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon radish in my banh mi sandwiches and other rice noodle and spring roll dishes. After having my own personal supply at home, I’ve realized that they work with way more dishes than I had imagined – in wraps, on all kinds of salads, in tuna, or just straight out the jar… I’ve always loved pickles, so it’s not surprising that like Carolyn, I now want to pickle the world.

Carolyn opted for thicker carrot and daikon sticks and thought it would be fun to try out her newish mandolin.




It’s your choice whether or not to peel the carrots or daikon, we opted to leave the skin on.


It took us a bit to find a method that worked. I’m happy to report that no fingers were sliced/injured during this process. Carolyn’ s other half – Aaron, did bring in some safety gloves and offered his assistance at one point. Smaller pieces of daikon seemed to be key. We ended up switching to doing them by hand towards the end. We actually had a race and it took less time to hand slice. The good news is that I now feel confident enough that I WON’T end up in the ER after using my own mandolin. Do not fear the mandolin… got it!




Toss the carrots and daikon sticks in a bowl with the salt. Let them stand for 10-15 minutes and then drain well. I was amazed at how much moisture was pulled out of the sticks.


Dissolve the sugar in the rice vinegar and then pour the brine mixture over the carrot and daikon sticks. Make sure you taste the brine mixture before you pour it over the carrots and daikon. If you want your pickles on the sweeter side, you may need to add more sugar or for tangier, increase the vinegar. This is why the ingredient measurements have ranges. It’s your own personal choice.

Let the sticks stand at room temperature for an hour, tossing them several times during the hour.


Divide the sticks into jars or containers, whatever works best for you. I personally loved the jars because of the tight lid seal and they were pretty to look at in my fridge.  If you don’t eat them right away, store in the fridge tightly covered. They will keep for up to a week.


Thank you Carolyn for the company on the grocery store run, the use of your kitchen, supplies and the hours of laughter as we busted out several recipes in one afternoon. Part II will be a different version of carrots – in fact, they’ve become a favorite of mine already – stay tuned.


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    • deede on February 27, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Mmmmmm, pickled carrots are the best. You are inspiring me to pickle!

    • Kim Williams on February 27, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Those look delicious. I, too, got into jam making this past year. I made some marmalades I am pretty proud of. I bought a beautiful cookbook called The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders. It is a fabulous book if you ever want to borrow it, let me know.

    • Julie on February 28, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I pickle veggies whenever I can — radishes, daikon, and carrot, mostly. I probably hold onto them longer than I should, though!

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