Citizens, Dưa món is a mix of brined vegetables, a Vietnamese version of an Italian giardiniera that is ubiquitously found on tables of feasting Vietnamese families during lunar new year celebrations. It’s commonly eaten with traditional banh chung and banh tet, but can really be used as a vegetable side for a meat entree. Each family may have their own recipes that vary slightly, but they all consist of carrot, daikon, and leeks brined in a prepared fish sauce.
The vegetables in dua món have an extra crunchiness and bite that’s different from the regular do chua that’s used in banh mi or spring rolls. The secret is to start with dried vegetables, which after sitting in the fish sauce for a few days soak up tons of flavor but instead of being soggy and are crunchy with a toothy bite that’s truly addicting.
If you have a food dehydrator (the excellent Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator is under $40 on Amazon) you can start days or weeks in advance by drying all your vegetables.
If you don’t have one and still want to dry your vegetables, you can sun dry them or use your oven either on the lowest setting with the door cracked open for 3-4 hours or about 5-6 hours with just the pilot light on.
Make sure you use a top-quality fish sauce for this recipe. By good, TFD means a fish sauce that contains only anchovies and salt. There should not be any additional ingredients like sugar, hydrolyzed soy protein, MSG, etc.
The dưa món should be ready after soaking 24 hours and will taste better and better as the days go and the flavors are absorbed by the vegetables. It will keep at least a month refrigerated.
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