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Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (Banh Bot Loc Tran)

Translucent Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (Banh Bot Loc Tran) - So amazing! It's a must-try dish. | recipe from runawayrice.comSavory and sweet shrimp and pork encased in a translucent and chewy dumpling skin make these some of the best dumplings around. A popular snack food, these scrumptious Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (Banh Bot Loc Tran) are completely addicting. The combination of chewy and slippery dumpling skin filled with flavorful meat morsels and then dipped in a sweet fish sauce dipping sauce will have your taste buds jumping for joy! Give this recipe a try! 🙂

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

I prefer a leaner pork but feel free to substitute with pork belly. Chicken thighs are also a tasty alternative to pork. Optionally, skip the meat altogether and just use a whole shrimp.

These dumplings are bite-sized so there’s not a lot of shrimp and pork in them. Use the smallest fresh shrimp you can find. I use size 71-90 and cut them in half. If using larger shrimp, cut them into thirds to make them smaller.

The dough can be a bit tricky to make and the timing is very important. Make sure the heat is on Low so the starch mixture doesn’t heat up too quickly. As soon as you see small tapioca lumps forming, remove from the heat right away. If you let the tapioca mixture cook for a bit too long, it will quickly turn into a really thick dough and it will not be useable.

If you want to make a double recipe and it’s just you cooking, prepare one batch of dough and make the dumplings. Then prepare a second batch of dough and make the dumplings. Do not make a double batch of dough at once because once the dough gets cold it becomes less pliable and tougher to spread.

Use approximately .4 oz – .5 oz of dough per dumpling which yields 36-45 dumplings, respectively.

Boil the dumplings gently. Boiling vigorously may cause the parchment paper to detach from the dumpling.

The cooking time is the same whether boiling or steaming – just 10 minutes.

If you would like the dumplings less chewy, add 3 Tbsp rice flour + 2 Tbsp cold water to the dough recipe. The dumplings won’t be translucent but they will be delicious!

If you love the aroma of banana leaves, use them instead of parchment paper.

Make lots of dumplings and freeze them to enjoy later. Uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 3 months when sealed in an air-tight container or bag. (See picture below.) Boil or steam straight from the freezer. (Thawing is not necessary.) This is a great way to enjoy these delicious dumplings whenever the craving hits! 🙂

Refrigerate any remaining dumplings and consume within the week.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you make also like: Steamed Rice Cakes and Pork Roll (Banh Day) or Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Dumplings (Banh Khuc).


3 oz pork shoulder or pork loin
3 oz size 71-90 shrimp (approximately 20 pieces)
1 garlic clove
1/2 small shallot
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 heaping tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil

Dough/Dumpling Skin
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cold water

Scallion Oil
1 small bunch green onions
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 red chilies

Optional Topping: fried onions


Cut the pork into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick and then into 3/4-inch strips. Place into a small bowl. Cut the shrimp in half and place into a separate bowl.

Peel and mince the garlic. Finely dice the shallot.

Marinate the pork by combining 1/4 of the minced garlic, 1/4 of the diced shallots, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp fish sauce and 1/16 tsp ground black pepper. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

Marinate the shrimp by combining 1/4 of the minced garlic, 1/4 of the diced shallots, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/16 tsp ground black pepper. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

Heat a wok or skillet over Medium High heat. Add vegetable oil and 1/2 tsp sugar. Cook for 10-15 seconds or until the melted sugar just starts to turn golden. Add the remaining minced garlic and diced shallots and stir-fry for 10-15 seconds. Add the marinated pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the marinated shrimp and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add a few more dashes of paprika and combine well. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.

Cut parchment paper into 4-inch squares, making a total of 40 squares.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add the tapioca starch, salt, vegetable oil and cold water. Whisk together until the starch is dissolved. Warm the starch mixture over Low heat stirring continually. When the starch mixture starts to turn lumpy and sticks to the bottom of the whisk (approximately 5-6 minutes), remove from the heat and continue whisking quickly. Continue whisking for 1 minute allowing the starch to thicken into a cake-like batter. Return the saucepan to the stove over Low Heat. Continue cooking and stirring for another 1 minute or until the dough thickens into a pudding-like consistency. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Place a parchment square on the work surface. Spoon out approximately 2 1/2 tsp dough and spread on the parchment paper making a circle approximately 2 1/2-inches in diameter. In the center, add 1 piece of shrimp and 1 piece of pork. Fold the parchment square in half so the dumpling is now a half circle. Press gently along the edge to seal the dumpling. Use a small glass, dish or cookie cutter to shape the dumpling further into a half circle. Continue making the dumplings until all the ingredients are used.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and then reduce the heat to Medium. Add half of the dumplings to the pot and boil gently for 5 minutes. (The dumplings will float to the top.) Rotate the dumplings and boil for another 5 minutes. (Total boiling time is 10 minutes.) Transfer the cooked dumplings into a large bowl filled with ice water and allow to soak for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the dumplings to a colander and allow to drain for 5 minutes. Repeat the same steps to cook the remaining dumplings.

To make the Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce, combine the sugar, lime juice, water and fish sauce. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Chop the red chilies and add to the sauce

To make the Scallion Oil, chop the green onions and transfer into a microwaveable bowl. Add the vegetable oil, salt and pepper and toss together. Microwave on High power for 20 seconds.

To serve, brush some oil from the Scallion Oil onto a plate. Peel back the parchment paper and transfer the dumplings onto the plate. Top the dumplings with the Scallion Oil and fried onions. Serve with a side of the Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce.

Yields: 40 dumplings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (Banh Bot Loc Tran) - The chewy and silky texture of these scrumptious dumplings are absolutely addicting! | recipe from


Make Clear Shrimp and Pork Dumplings and Freeze to enjoy later | recipe from


Freeze the uncooked dumplings to enjoy at a later time. I store them inside a re-sealable plastic bag.

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Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu)

So Much Goodness in One Bowl: Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu) This hearty Crab Noodle Soup is a plethora of wonderful ingredients, flavors and textures–savory seafood patties are cooked in a light tomato stock with fried tofu and crab claws and then served over springy rice vermicelli along with abundant fresh herbs, beans sprouts and split water spinach stems. Don’t be daunted by all of the ingredients in this recipe. It’s fairly straightforward when broken down into smaller tasks. Some of the steps can be done in advance and I share some recipe shortcuts below. With the cooler days ahead, this is an amazingly warm and filling dish. Enjoy!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

My recipe does not use crab paste. Although tasty and a great shortcut, it is loaded with oil and contains artificial ingredients. If you prefer to use the crab paste, substitute it for the canned crab meat in this recipe.

Break up the work by prepping the day before:

  1. Pan-fry the tofu and store in the fridge.
  2. Wash the herbs and bean sprouts and store in the fridge.
  3. Split the water spinach and place in a bag filled with water and store in the fridge.
  4. Prepare the crab meat mixture and store in the fridge.

Water spinach may be difficult to find depending on where you live. A good substitute is young celery. Use a vegetable peeler to cut the celery into long strands like the water spinach.

Purchase fried tofu from your Asian grocery store to save some time and simply add to the soup.

I use tomato paste instead of annatto oil. If you have this ingredient, feel free to substitute. I love using paste because it adds delicious tomato-y flavor and the lovely color.

Once the meat floats to the top, be sure to reduce the heat. Over-boiling will cause the patties to fall apart. The soup should have nice chunks of meat.

This soup is not heavily salted so each person can add fish sauce and shrimp paste to taste.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you make also like: Vermicelli Soup with Chicken, Steamed Pork Roll and Egg (Bun Thang) and Thick Noodles and Fish Cake Soup (Banh Canh Cha Ca).


8 oz medium-firm tofu
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Herbs  & Vegetables
8-10 sprigs spearmint
8-10 sprigs Perilla
8-10 sprigs Vietnamese balm
2 cups bean sprouts
20 water spinach stems + 1/4 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
1 small shallot
6 medium tomatoes
2 green onions
6 sprigs cilantro

Crab Meat Mix
3/4 cup dried shrimp + 2 cups boiling water
1/3 lb ground pork
2-6 oz cans of crab meat, drained
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 ground black pepper

Sautéed Tomatoes
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 ground black pepper

12 cups chicken stock
8-10 cooked crab claws
2 Tbsp fish sauce

10-12 cups cooked rice vermicelli (approximately 14 oz dry noodle)
2 limes cut into wedges
red chilies
shrimp paste


Cut the tofu into small chunks, approximately 10-12 pieces. Add vegetable oil into a wok and heat over Medium High heat until hot. Add the tofu and pan-fry all sides until golden brown. (Each side takes approximately 2-3 minutes.) Remove tofu and place on paper towels to blot the excess oil. Set aside for now.

Pluck and gently wash the spearmint, Perilla and Vietnamese balm. Dry the herbs using a salad spinner. Repeat the same steps for the bean sprouts. Store in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.

Pluck the water spinach leaves from the stems. (Save the leaves for this dish: Stir-Fried Water Spinach and Beef (Rau Muong Xao Bo).) Wash the stems with cold water. Use a water spinach splitter to shred the stems into long strands. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add 1/4 tsp salt. Add the stems and soak in the water until it’s time to serve.

Mince the garlic and finely chop the shallots.

Cut the tomatoes into wedges.

Cut off the tops of the green onions and chop. Chop the cilantro. Combine both in a bowl and set aside for now.

Put the dried shrimp into a colander and rinse with cold water and then drain. Repeat this process one more time. Transfer into a bowl. Add 2 cups boiling water and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the shrimp and reserve the liquid for later.

Add the shrimp into a food processor along with half of the minced garlic and chopped shallots. Process for 15-20 seconds. Add the ground pork, crab meat (drained of the canning liquid), eggs, fish sauce and ground black pepper. Pulse for 10 seconds to mix together.

Heat a small wok over Medium High heat and add vegetable oil. Add the remaining minced garlic and chopped shallots and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add the tomato paste and stir-fry for another 15 seconds. Add half of the tomatoes and combine together. Cook until the tomatoes just start to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Turn-off the heat and add salt and ground black pepper.

Add the chicken stock plus the shrimp liquid into a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over High heat. Add the sautéed tomatoes and combine together. Skim off any foam and discard. Add large spoonfuls of the crab meat mixture into the soup. Lower the heat to Medium High and cook until the meat floats to the top, approximately 5-6 minutes. Reduce the heat to Medium Low and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the fried tofu, remaining tomatoes and cooked crab claws. Add 2 Tbsp fish sauce and gently combine.

To serve, place 2 1/2 cups rice vermicelli into a large bowl. Ladle the soup on top of the noodles and add a generous amount of broth.  Garnish the top with the chopped cilantro and green onions mix and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the Crab Noodle Soup with a plate of the fresh herbs, bean sprouts, water spinach stems, lime wedges, chilies and shrimp paste.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Interested in learning more about fresh herbs? Check out this post: Quick Guide to Vietnamese Herbs

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Essential Herbs and Veggies to Serve with Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu)

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Cassava Cake (Banh Khoai Mi Nuong)

Super Easy Recipe for Cassava Cake (Banh Khoai Mi Nuong) | recipe from runawayrice.comDeliciously starchy cassava (yuca or manioc) is combined with creamy coconut milk and fragrant mung bean to make this scrumptious sweet treat. My recipe makes a simple batter that when baked yields a golden cake that is moist, slightly chewy and just sweet enough. Cut the cake into small pieces and enjoy as finger-food. It makes a perfect little snack or a casual dessert. Enjoy!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Use fresh or frozen cassava. Frozen cassava is really convenient but fresh cassava definitely tastes better.  See my video for how to prepare fresh cassava.

Be sure to mix the mashed mung well so there aren’t big chunks in the batter. Optionally, use an electric mixer to get the batter smooth.

If you’d like a chewier texture, add another 1-2 Tbsp tapioca starch.

This cake is medium in sweetness. Adjust the sweetness to your preference. Optionally, use a sugar substitute.

Line the cake pan with parchment paper to make removing the cake a cinch.

The cake will deflate when it cools and this is normal.

Store any remaining portions in the refrigerator and consume within the week. To reheat, warm the cake in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. You can freeze the cake for up to 3 months when stored in an air-tight container.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Pumpkin Cassava Cake (Banh Khoai Mi Bi Do), Silkworm Cassava Cake (Banh Tam Khoai Mi), and Steamed Banana Cake (Banh Chuoi Hap).


1 lb frozen grated cassava, thawed
1/2 cup mashed mung bean
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp melted butter


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Transfer the thawed cassava into a colander and allow to drain for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the drained cassava, mashed mung bean, sugar, tapioca starch, coconut milk and vanilla extract. Mix well making sure the batter is free of lumps.

Coat a 9-inch round pan evenly with vegetable oil.

Pour the batter into the oiled baking pan. Holding the sides of the pan, jiggle the pan gently and tap on the counter a few times to settle the batter.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Check to see if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick. It should come out clean.

Brush the top of the cake with melted butter.

Bake on 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes or until the cake is golden on top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour.

Run a spatula around the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan using a large spatula.

To serve, cut into small wedges or bite-sized pieces.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Super Easy Recipe for Vietnamese Cassava Cake (Banh Khoai Mi Nuong) | recipe from

No-Fuss Recipe for a Sweet and Tasty Viet Treat: Cassava Cake (Banh Khoai Mi Nuong) | recipe from*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Tofu / Bean Curd (Dau Hu)

Make Tofu (Dau Hu) at Home with this Simple Recipe | recipe from runawayrice.comFragrant and delicious, tofu is so easy to make at home with this simple 3-ingredient recipe. Talk about goodness that’s so much fresher and healthier than the store-bought versions. There are no preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce in this tofu. If you’re familiar with making Soy Milk, you’ll find this recipe to be a cinch! Hope you give this recipe a try and share your results with me! 🙂

 Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Use organic soybeans if possible.

To cut the soaking time of the beans in half use hot water.

I do not recommend using store-bought soy milk. Some of the milks have stabilizer and preservatives which prevent the milk from separating into the curds and liquid whey.

If fresh soy milk is available, you can start with this instead of making your own from the soybeans. Simply add 2 cups water to the milk and follow the remaining instructions.

I use distilled white vinegar with an acidity of 5%. You can substitute the vinegar for the same amount of lemon or lime juice but you will have to use more of the coagulant to get the separation.

Cheesecloth comes in different grades. I am using a double layer of grade 90 cheesecloth. The grade 60 cheesecloth, commonly sold at the grocery stores, will work just fine too.

Make sure the heat is Low when adding the coagulant. Do not allow the milk boil or this will break up the curds.

If after adding 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp coagulant you still don’t see the separation, continue adding 1 Tbsp and letting it rest for 3 minutes. Repeat this process until you see the separation.

You can change the firmness of the tofu by adding more coagulant. More coagulant will make larger curds resulting in a firm tofu. Also increasing the pressing time will also yield a firmer tofu. Below are some guidelines:

10-15 minutes = Soft
20-25 minutes = Medium
30+ minutes = Firm

Soaking the tofu in ice water helps to firm up the tofu. If you prefer a soft tofu, you can skip this step.

Some other things you can use to make your own tofu mold: take-out food containers, plastic baskets for fruits and berries, disposal foil pans, plastic food storage containers. Optionally you can just buy a tofu maker. (This one is fairly inexpensive.)

If not using right away, store the tofu immersed in water in the refrigerator. Change the water daily to keep it fresh. The tofu is best consumed within 1 week.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Soy Milk (Sua Dau Nanh) and Yogurt (Yaourt).


1/2 lb (approximately 1 1/3 cups) organic soy beans
10 cups water
1 cup water + 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar (Note: Used in this recipe is 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp)

Other Items
4 cup tofu mold or container with holes throughout
cheesecloth (Grade 90 or 60)
object weighing 2-3 lbs (soup can, small box salt, sugar, etc)


Sift through the dry soy beans and remove any which are mis-shapened or covered with dark spots and discard.

Wash the soybeans by swirling around in cold water for 1 minute and then pouring off the cloudy water. Repeat this process 2 more times making sure the final wash water is clear. Soak the beans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight.

Wash the beans one more time and then drain well.

Transfer the soybeans into a blender. Add 2 1/2 cups water. Starting first on Low speed, gradually increase to High speed. Blend for 1 minute. Add another 2 1/2 cups water and continue blending on High speed for another 30 seconds.

Pour the soy milk into a nut milk bag. Firmly squeeze the bag extracting the soy milk into a large bowl. Pour the soy milk into a large saucepan.

Transfer the soy pulp back into the blender. Add 5 cups water. Blend on High speed for 30 seconds. Again pour into the nut milk bag, extract the milk and then pour into the saucepan.

Make the coagulant by combining 1 cup water with the 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar. Set aside for now.

Cut a double layer of cheesecloth to fit the tofu mold. Wet the cheesecloth and then wring out the water. Line the tofu mold with the cheesecloth.

Invert a small bowl or dish inside a large dish or pan. Place the tofu mold on top.

Warm the soy milk over Medium Low heat. Stir frequently to prevent the milk from burning on the bottom. Skim off the foam and discard. When the milk comes to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to Low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to Low. Quickly stir the soy milk a few times to get it swirling. Slowly Add 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp coagulant by drizzling it into the soy milk. (You should see bubbles forming and the milk starting to curdle.) Stir gently in a back and forth motion to distribute the coagulant. (Small curds should be visible in the milk now.) Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Check to see if the liquid has separated into curds and liquid whey. If it has not, drizzle in another 1 Tbsp coagulant and stir gently. Let rest for another 3-4 minutes.

The milk liquid should separate into curds and an opaque liquid (liquid whey). Using a slotted spoon, transfer just the curds into the tofu mold.

Use a spatula to evenly distribute the curds into the mold. Fold the cheesecloth covering up the tofu. Add the lid and place a weight on top. Allow the tofu to be pressed for 20 minutes.

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Invert the tofu into the cold water and remove the mold. Unwrap the tofu and remove the cheesecloth. Allow the tofu to rest in the ice water for 15 minutes.

Enjoy the tofu fresh or as an ingredient in your favorite dishes.

Yields: 1 lb tofu

Love tofu? Here are some tasty dishes to try:

Tofu in Tomato Sauce (Dau Hu Sot Ca)

Fermented Chili Tofu (Chao)

Lemongrass Tofu and Rice Noodles (Bun Dau Hu Xao)

Braised Tofu and Mushrooms (Dau Hu Kho Nam)

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir-Fry (Dau Hu Xao Sot Chua Ngot)

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Fresh Tofu (Dau Hu) - Amazing when Homemade, a Must-Try! | recipe from

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Pickled Jalapenos (Ot Ngam Giam)

Delicious and Easy-to-Make Pickled Jalapenos | recipe from runawayrice.comCrunchy, tart and slightly sweet, these Pickled Jalapenos are delicious condiments accompanying many Asian dishes. If you can’t seem to get enough of these tasty tidbits, it’s time to make some at home so there’s always plenty on-hand. This recipe is as easy as it gets with just a few ingredients. Use this versatile pickling solution to pickle any other foods you like. It’s a great way to preserve and enjoy those delicious summer vegetables a little bit longer.

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Store the jalapenos in the refrigerator until you’re ready to prepare them. This will keep them nice and crisp. Optionally, dunk the peppers in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes before slicing and pickling. This helps to give the pickles a nice crunch.

For more tart pickles, reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup or eliminate altogether. Optionally use a sugar substitute such as Stevia or Splenda.

Use food prep gloves when handling hot peppers and always be sure to wash your utensils well after preparing hot peppers.

To keep the pickles fresher longer, use a clean spoon when scooping out of the jar.  Avoid contaminating with dirty utensils.

Stored in the refrigerator, the Pickled Jalapenos are good for up to 3 months (maybe even longer).

Blanching vegetables before pickling is an optional process to halt the enzymes which cause vegetables to lose their flavor, color and texture.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Pickled Bean Sprouts (Dua Gia), Carrot and Radish Pickles (Do Chua) or Pickled Mustard Greens (Dua Cai Chua).


1 cup water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp salt

Other Items
20 oz glass jar


Wash the jar with soap and hot water and then dry.

In a medium saucepan, add the water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Over Medium High heat, stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Bring the solution to a gentle boil and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool until the liquid reaches room temperature. Optionally, chill in ice water for 5 minutes.

Wash the jalapenos with cold water. Cut the peppers into coins about 1/4-inch thick.

Place the pepper slices into a colander and gently toss to remove some of the seeds.

Layer the peppers into the jar leaving the loose seeds behind.

Pour in the pickling liquid filling up the jar but leaving about 1/2-inch room from the top. Use a spoon to dunk the peppers under the liquid.

Seal the jar and refrigerate. Allow to pickle in the refrigerator for 1 day before eating.

Yields: 2 cups

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Easy Refrigerator Jalapenos Pickles | recipe from

In addition to jalapenos, I pickled Thai chilies, garlic, sweet peppers, purple cabbage and rainbow carrots. Delish!

Pickle just about anything with this simple recipe! | recipe from
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