Monday, March 5, 2012
rau chay chua
Pickled vegetables are an integral part of the Southeast Asian diet, considered
essential accompaniments to meals. Believed to aid digestion of rich, fatty or oilbased
dishes, pickled vegetables are appropriately served with curries, “cutting” the fat
while “lifting”and cleansing the palate to allow a deeper enjoyment of the food.
1 lb (450 g) ridge cucumbers, peeled (optional)
1 lb (450 g) daikon radish, peeled
1 lb (450 g) carrots, peeled
Cut the cucumbers and mooli into sticks
1/4 in (5 mm) thick and 1
1/2 in (4 cm) long. Cut the carrots
into sticks of the same length but
1/8 in (3 mm) thick.
Put the vegetables in 3 separate colanders set over mixing bowls. Sprinkle each vegetable with
1 tbsp salt and toss, then leave to drain for 1 hour.
Gently squeeze any remaining juice out of the vegetables, then transfer them to a large, resealable
plastic bag. in a bowl, whisk together the sugar and rice vinegar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add this pickling liquid to the vegetables. Close the bag, squeezing out any air. Leave to marinate for 3 hours before serving. You can keep the pickles in the refrigerator for a week or two; the longer they are kept, the softer they will be and the more pronounced the pickle flavor.
3 tbsp sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cups white rice vinegar
Believed to aid digestion, this unsweetened lemonade (called da chanh muoi) made with salt-preserved
lemons (sometimes limes) is enjoyed at the end of a meal, either served at room temperature or chilled with
ice cubes. It is also drunk during the day as a thirst quencher and restorative, particularly in warm weather.
The ratio of lemon to water given here can be adjusted to taste. For 1 serving, rinse
1/3 preserved salt-brined
lemon and put in a bowl. Crush the lemon with a fork. Place 1–1
1/2 tbsp of the crushed lemon in a large glass.
Add ice cubes to taste, if using, and top off with 1 cup still or sparkling mineral water. Stir a few times, then
drink. While best made fresh, large quantities (full pitchers) can be prepared a few hours ahead of time and
kept in a cool place or chilled.