• Kylie Kwong (Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul)Source: Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul

These pickles are delicious as a side dish, or to add piquancy to stir-fries and braises.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (21 votes)

This recipe for homemade pickles came from my mother’s father, or Goong Goong, who took great pride in growing his own vegetables and feeding his family. 


  • 700 g (1 lb 6oz) savoy cabbage
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled
  • 1 daikon radish (mooli), peeled
  • 1 bunch red radishes
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 2¼ cups white sugar
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tsp chilli oil
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 2.5 kg (5 lb) pickles

Marinating time: overnight

  1. Slice cabbage in half lengthways, remove core and cut into irregular pieces about 5 x 2 cm (2 x 1 in). Roughly pull pieces apart to separate leaves. Slice cucumber and carrots in half lengthways, then cut into batons about 5 x 1 cm (2 x ½ in). Slice daikon radish in half lengthways, and cut into pieces roughly 3 x 2 cm (1½ x 1 in). Cut red radishes in half. Place prepared vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, and mix well to combine. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Combine sugar and vinegar in a heavy-based pot. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer, without stirring, until reduced and slightly syrupy. Set aside to cool.
  2. Next day, pour the cooled syrup over salted vegetables. Add chilli oil and soy sauce to taste, and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days to allow flavours to develop before using. The pickles will keep, refrigerated, for several months.


Kylie Kwong: Heart and Soul premieres on Wednesday 21 November at 8.30pm. The series airs Wednesdays at 8.30pm on SBS Food (Channel 33). After they air, episodes will stream at SBS On Demand