This quick, light Indonesian-style pickle can double as a salad that pairs perfectly with spicy or fried dishes. A soak in boiling salt water helps soften the carrot and cucumbers without cooking them, providing a pleasantly tender crunch.
2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise and separated into rings
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 red Thai chile, stemmed and thinly sliced
Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Combine the shallots, cucumber, carrot and 1 tablespoon salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Carefully pour over the boiling water. Stir to mix evenly then let stand for 20 minutes.
Drain the vegetables in a colander, pressing them to remove excess liquid, then transfer them to a bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar, chile and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve then refrigerate until ready to use, at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
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