The other day when I made the spicy peanut shrimp sandwiches with Thai style slaw , they reminded me of banh mi sandwiches and I since then that idea has been running through my head. I often find that the easiest thing to do when you have something stuck in your mind is to just give in to the craving and so I set about to making some of these Vietnamese sandwiches. Of course the first, and possibly the most important, step in making a truly good banh mi sandwich is the pickled carrots and daikon radish. Although pickles can sometimes be intimidating these pickles are super quick and easy to make and well worth the effort. Pretty much all you need to do is peel and cut the carrots and daikon radish and then let them sit in the pickling solution of water, vinegar, salt and sugar for a while. You should let the vegetables pickle for at least a half an hour but they will keep in your fridge for a couple of days so you can even make them ahead of time greatly reducing the amount of effort required to make those tasty banh mi sandwiches.
The first time that I made these pickles I was quite surprised that such a simple pickle could be so good! The combination of sweet, salty and tangy in the pickling solution certainly works its magic, especially on the diakon radishes which just soak up all of those flavours and mellow out nicely. Leftovers do not last long and I frequently find myself snacking on them, though I will have to hold off at least until I make the sandwiches!
Tip: Use a mandolin to get the first cut in and then stack a few layers on top of each other and cut in the other direction with a knife to get them fairly evenly thin.
Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 pound carrots (peeled and cut to match stick size)
- 1/2 pound daikon radish (peeled and cut to match stick size)
- Mix the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolves.
- Place the carrots and radish in a container and cover with the pickling liquid.
- Let pickle for at least and hour and store in the fridge for up to a week.