This versatile and fresh-tasting salad-pickle-condiment combination will look familiar if you eat regularly in Vietnamese restaurants and/or sandwich shops. It’s very easy to make at home. Instead of a blend of carrot and daikon, you can use a pound of just one of them. Serve as a side salad or as part of a Vietnamese salad plate. It also makes a great addition to rice paper roll-ups.
- ½ pound carrots, peeled
- ½ pound daikon radish, peeled
- About ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Cut the tip off each carrot on a long diagonal. Use a Benriner or other vegetable slicer or a coarse grater to slice the carrots into strips, or use a knife to cut into matchsticks. You should have approximately 2 cups. Place the carrots in a large strainer and set aside.
Use the same method to make daikon strips. You should have approximately 2 cups. Add to the carrots in the strainer and mix well with your hands. Sprinkle on the salt and toss to mix. Place over a bowl or in the sink and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a nonreactive saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. (Don’t cook the vegetables, bathe them.)
Rinse the vegetables briefly with cold water, then squeeze dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Pour over the vinegar mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon to ensure all the vegetables are well moistened. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.
To serve, lift the salad out of the vinegar bath (see Note) and mound attractively on a plate.