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Garlicky Preserved Daikon and Carrot

1 1/2 pounds daikons, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1/2 pound carrots, each about 1 inch in diameter, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 to 4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 large cloves garlic, sliced


Put the daikons and carrots in a bowl and toss well with the salt. Set aside for 3 hours to allow the vegetables to weep. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold running water. Pat dry. Set the oven to the lowest possible heat setting, which is usually warm or 175F. You want a temperature of between 140 and 160F, so hang an oven thermometer where it can be easily read and keep the oven door open the entire time. For drying racks, use 2 wire racks, covering each with a layer of cheesecloth to prevent the vegetables from falling through. Lay the vegetables flat on the racks. To maximize air circulation, place the drying racks directly on the oven racks and run the exhaust fan. Let the vegetables dry for about 2 hours, checking the oven temperature every 30 minutes. The vegetables are ready when they are about one-third their original size and barely damp to the touch. Each chewy piece should be 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Together they should weigh about 4 1/2 ounces and fill 1 1/4 cups. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Add enough of the fish sauce to create a pleasant sweet-and savory flavor. Cover and set aside. When the vegetables are dried, put them in a bowl and cover with warm water. Squeeze gently a few times and then drain in a colander, squeezing again to remove excess saltiness. Return the vegetables to the bowl and toss with the garlic. Pack them into a 1-pint jar and pour in the fish sauce solution. Push the vegetables down so they are covered with liquid. Set aside, uncovered, until cool. Cover the jar and refrigerate the vegetables for 4 days before eating. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. If they get too salty, rinse briefly with water before eating.

Source: www.epicurious.com