These bright, delicious pickled carrots add a sour and sweet crunch to grains, salads, proteins, sandwiches, and more.
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Pickling vegetables is so easy and they add a huge burst of flavor to any dish. You will love this pickled carrot recipe because it’s quick, simple, and lasts a long time in the refrigerator.
This is a quick pickle carrot recipe so there is no need to use a hot water canning method. You heat the water, sugar, and salt and then pour the pickling liquid over the carrots. It’s that simple.
History of pickling
This is one of the oldest methods of food preservation and dates back thousands of years. Pickling with vinegar likely began in Mesopotamia around 2040 BC. There is even evidence of pickling in the Tigris Valley.
Pickling vegetables in vinegar then spread to the rest of the Middle East, Europe, and then came to the Americas when Europeans colonized the New World.
On the other hand, fermentation dates back to 7000 BC in China. While pickling involves soaking food in an acidic liquid to create a sour flavor, the sour taste from fermentation happens from a chemical reaction between natural bacteria and foods’ sugars.
The English term pickle first appeared in the 1400s from the Dutch language.
Pickled Asian vegetables are extremely popular and can include carrot, daikon, cucumber, cabbage, onion, and more. White pickles refer to pickled daikon, the milf-flavored winter radish that looks like a long white root.
Korean pickled vegetables like carrot and daikon are a common household condiment. Asian pickled carrots are delicious straight from the jar or go great with fish, salad, rice, noodles, and more. Once you have Asian carrots it’s hard to go back!
For these pickled carrot sticks, I recommend you use a mandolin. This will not only speed up the process, but will help you achieve pieces of carrot that are uniform in thickness and size.
If you don’t have a mandolin, you can use a super sharp box grater or a knife. You can still achieve uniformly cut carrots.
Another tip is to salt the carrots, let sit for roughly 20 minutes, rinse in cold water, and drain. This will allow the carrots to stay crunchier longer.
The best vinegar for pickling is regular distilled white vinegar. However, if you don’t have it, rice vinegar is a great choice.
How to make pickled carrots
These Asian pickled vegetables are so quick and easy to make. The first step is to peel and cut the carrots. Use a mandolin and the insert that cuts matchsticks.
Cut the carrot pieces in half if they are too long. If you don’t have a mandolin, you can use a sharp knife. Be careful to evenly cut pieces.
Place the cut carrot pieces in a bowl, salt, and toss to coat. After 20 minutes, rinse the salt from the carrots and squeeze to remove the liquid.
At this point, place the carrots into whatever container you will be storing them in. Mason jars are a great option, but I also use tupperware. Any sealed container will do.
Boil the water and then mix in the vinegar and sugar. Take the hot pickling liquid and pour over the carrots. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
Enjoy the pickles with fish, rice, on sandwiches, on salads and more. The carrots should stay good for a few weeks or until they are no longer crisp.
How to make pickled carrot and daikon
Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon radish are called do chua. These Vietnamese vegetables are a very common condiment and often found in a bahn mi.
This pickled carrot recipe is based off of do chua, so you can easily add in daikon. Simply peel and cut the daikon into small matchsticks using a mandolin.
You can go heavy on the daikon or the carrot, whatever your personal preference is. I usually do a 50/50 ratio.
Next, follow the recipe, salting the daikon and carrots in a large bowl. After 20 minutes, rinse and squeeze liquid out of vegetables.
Boil water and add the sugar and vinegar, and stir to dissolve. Pour over the mixed vegetables and allow to cool.
These would go great beside this amazing Chicken biryani recipe.
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
- 3 large carrots
- 1 tb salt
- 3 tb white sugar
- Peel carrots and then cut carrots with a mandolin into small to medium matchsticks. In a bowl, combine salt and carrots. Toss to evenly coat. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Squeeze as much moisture out of the carrots as you can. Rinse thoroughly to remove salt. Transfer to jar, bowl or storage container you plan to store your carrots in.
- Boil water and add sugar and vinegar. Stir to dissolve. Pour liquid into container with carrots. Cover with a lid and allow to cool. Refrigerate. Carrots will last for several weeks.