How to Pickle Vegetables

A great way to use up limp, sad looking vegetables is by pickling them! I grew up on Asian food so my first introduction to pickled vegetables were the amazing pickled carrots and radishes served on Banh Mi sandwiches or in Korean Banchan. They are so easy to make, keeps for a ridiculously long time, and great in anything from sandwiches, wraps, rice paper rolls, or even enjoyed on their own. Here’s how to pickle your own vegetables at home!

(Check out my previous posts on how to reduce food waste here and recipes to help like making your very own sourdough starter and awesome sourdough crackers!)

How To Pickle Carrots and Radishes:

  • 1 large glass container, at least 1L in capacity or more
  • 4 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar*
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar*
  • Dash of salt
  • Carrots or radishes (any variety)
* Feel free to play around with the ratio of sugar to vinegar to taste here. If you feel the brine needs to be sweeter after the vegetables have been pickling for several days, you may need to add a small amount of simple syrup or another liquid sweetener to up the sweetness.
  1. Mix 4 cups of warm water, sugar and salt until fully dissolved. Then add the vinegar and mix well. Add the brine mixture into the glass container ensuring you leave some room for the vegetables.
  2. Julienne carrots and radishes to desired width and thickness. (I have some purple star daikon here, pretty aren’t they?)
  3. Place the vegetables into the glass container with the brine mixture
  4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 5 days. It took around 1 week for my desired level of pickling. I would suggest checking at the 3 day mark in case you prefer a milder taste.

NOTES: The vegetables will start to get quite pungent (especially the radishes!). The longer they pickle, the smellier they get. I have had my current jar of pickled radishes on the left for about 3 months now (!!) and they are quite smelly but super crunchy and tasty! The jar on the right was just pickled today. 

The brine turned a bright purple colour due to the nature of the daikon. If you pickle regular white daikon radish or carrots, the brine should remain a clear colour.

I have also reused the brine with good results but I would definitely recommend changing out the brine after two batches just to keep things sanitary.


And that’s it! That’s how easy it is to pickle your own vegetables to extend their life and to reduce food waste. Do you like pickled vegetables and have you tried this? Let me know below!

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