If KimChi is a traditional Korean dish, Vietnam is proud of pickled vegetables, which is an essential part in any meal of Vietnamese people. Vietnamese pickled vegetables are one of the most famous side dishes served with Banh Mi, rolled dishes, roasted & grilled meat dishes in Vietnam. The list below will give you more insight into this rustic side dish and the 4 most popular Vietnamese pickled veggies.
I - What are Vietnamese pickled vegetables?
Pickling is the “process” in which something is preserved in salt, vinegar, and water. Pickled vegetables are extremely popular in the meals of Vietnamese people, especially during Tet holiday. They are usually served with greasy dishes to decrease the fatty taste of these dishes. The crispy, aromatic, palatable and sour taste of pickled vegetables seems to make the meals more delicious.
Radish, cucumber, asparagus, red onion, and carrots,... are top popular and favorite Vietnamese pickled veggies used in the cuisine of the local. Homemade pickles are really easy to make, which requires just a few simple ingredients. Pickled vegetables should be preserved in the cool level of the fridge to maintain moderate acidity. It is better for you to enjoy the most tasty pickled vegetables within 1 week of opening.
Besides the effects of increasing the tasty flavor of the meals, Vietnamese pickled vegetables also have amazing benefits making them so popular in Vietnamese cuisine such as contributing to the prevention of digestive problems, supplying the body with vital minerals (calcium, potassium, and iron) and vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K, etc., boosting immune system, and reducing sugar levels, etc.
However, there are still some side-effects of pickles if you are not aware of the suitable way to enjoy this Vietnamese pickled veggies.
- Those who are enduring cardiovascular diseases, high-blood pressure should eat pickled in a limited amount as the high content of sodium can increase blood pressure.
- It is not wise to eat the “unripe” pickles which still have a pungent taste, potentially resulting in cancer.
- It should be preserved in the refrigerator for longer usage.
II - How to make Vietnamese pickled vegetables?
1 - Vietnamese pickled mustard greens
When traveling through Vietnam, you can relize that Vietnamese people eat lots of side dish like pickles and fresh veggies & herbs. One of the most popular pickles in Vietnam must be pickled mustard greens, which normally includes the leaves and crunchier branches. Pickled mustard greens can be used as a cooking ingredient in some sour soups or can be stir-fried or stewed with beef. The steps to make a jar of mustard green pickles are very straightforward. Here is a detailed Vietnamese pickled vegetables recipe:
- First, the veggies are selected and well prepared. Break the leaves apart and wash them under running water. Shake to excess water and dry it on a tray.
- Then, make the pickling liquid with the water, which has boiled and cooled to touch. Put cut mustard greens into a jar, pour water with salt and sugar into the jar.
- Finally, place it in a warm place, maybe next to the window, heater vent, or in the oven for 1-4 days. When it is sour enough as your favorite, it’s time for you to enjoy it!
2 - Vietnamese pickled vegetables with spring onion bulbs
Spring onions are much smaller and sweeter compared to a typical onion, which is an essential part of Vietnamese New Year Food like in the verses: Fat meat, pickled spring onion bulbs, red parallel sentences. Here are some steps for this Vietnamese pickled vegetables recipe:
- Heat water, then set aside, let cool until ready to use.
- Cut the top of the spring onion bulbs, wash them in the salted water, excess water and dry it on a basket or a tray.
- Prepare the pickling liquid by soiling the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small pot within 5 minutes. When the mixture gets cool, pour it in a jar, then put onion bulbs in the jar as well.
- Let the onions rest for around two-three days. Once opened, keep it in the fridge and use it within 2-3 weeks.
3 - Vietnamese pickled vegetables with green - white eggplant
Pickled green - white eggplants are a traditional, rustic side dish of Vietnamese families, particularly in the North during the summer days. Slightly sour, salty, crunchy pieces of pickled green-white eggplants make the meals more attractive. This Vietnamese side dish is usually served with the morning-glory soup, which is considered as the “cuisine in the summer in Vietnam”. The ingredients for this Vietnamese quick pickled vegetables and its recipe is quite simple.
- First, wash and remove the stems from the eggplants. You can leave them whole or cut them into two parts. Then, immerse the eggplants in salty water right away to avoid the eggplants turning black because of leakage. Excess water and pour eggplants into a jar.
- Next, dissolve salt in the warm water.
- Prepare a range of special ingredients such as minced garlic, lemongrass, red chili.
- Pour water and the mixture of ingredients as well as a certain amount of salt into the jar, shake or stir so that everything in the jar mixes well. Let the jar of pickled Thai green-white eggplant sit for several days until it gets scrunchy and sour (depending on your preference).
4 - Carrot & daikon radish Vietnamese pickled vegetables for Banh Mi
This kind of pickle is one of the most popular side dish for Vietnamese street food. The mixture of pickled daikon radish and carrot is the simple yet flavorful combination of fresh daikon radish, carrot and other spices such as vinegar, sugar, and salt. Daikon radish contains nutritions such as protein, fiber, and vitamin C, etc. The light scrunchy sweetness of radish and carrot helps you never get bored of eating, especially when it is served with fried and grilled food. You can find Vietnamese pickled carrot in almost street food like Banh Mi, broken rice, mixed salad,...
Steps to make this Vietnamese quick pickled vegetables:
- Slice the carrots and the daikon radishes
- Place the carrots and daikon radishes in a large bowl, sprinkle with sugar and salt, then toss the mixture until well coated. After that, mix them with your hands until they become soft
- Make vinegar sugar mixture with sugar, white vinegar, and warm water
- Pour vinegar mixture over carrots and daikon in a jar. Let the pickles rest at least overnight before eating.
Just with very simple and easy-to-find ingredients as well as the straightforward process to make, you can easily follow the instructions above to make your own authentic Vietnamese pickled vegetables as a palatable side dish during the meals.