Fish Sauce-Pickled Radishes
A savory, Vietnamese-style preserve from Red Boat Fish Sauce’s founder, Cuong Pham.
makes About 1 quart
Most everyday Vietnamese-style pickles are made using ordinary salt, but on special occasions—such as the Lunar New Year—intensely savory nuoc mam is used in the brine instead. This not only gives the crispy, lactofermented fish sauce-pickled radishes their particular depth of flavor; it also helps cut through the richness of the many opulent and auspicious foods, such as banh chung (savory, pork-filled sticky rice cakes) traditionally served on such festive occasions. This quick and simple recipe is adapted from Cuong Pham’s Red Boat Fish Sauce Cookbook: Beloved Recipes from the Family Behind the Purest Fish Sauce. For more classic recipes to welcome the Year of the Tiger, look to our collection of the best Lunar New Year recipes.
- 2 cups turbinado sugar
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- ¾ cups nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
- 2 bird’s-eye chiles, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb. daikon, scrubbed, stemmed, and sliced crosswise into ¼-in. coins
- 2 cilantro roots or 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1 small white onion, thinly sliced