When I first moved to London 40-odd years ago, we used to frequent a Chinese restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue. It was cheap and cheerful, though I’ve completely forgotten the name, and it’s sadly closed. I vividly remember, however, the gratuitous bowls of carrots in chilli and rice vinegar on each table. They were very simple and I guessed it was rice vinegar, sugar, chopped chilli and carrot sticks. That’s how I’ve made them ever since, and they taste pretty much the same. 


up to 10 as part of a spread – keeps in the fridge for a week 


  • 1 large red or green chilli, trimmed and finely chopped, seeds and all
  • 200ml warm rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2-3 large carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into rough 4cm x 1cm sticks


  1. Mix the vinegar, chilli and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved then cool and mix with the carrots. Leave for an hour before serving.

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