Chinese pickled mustard green is quite similar to Vietnam dưa chua is a featured ingredients in many Chinese cuisine especially in Shangdong and Sichuan cuisine.
In Szechuan cuisine, pickled vegetables are hidden stars. They are not as famous as Kung pao chicken, twice cooked pork or Mapo tofu, but they are side ingredients for many yummy dishes like Szechuan boiled fish with pickled vegetables.
When I was still a child, my grandmother grew several different types of mustards including this mustard green (Chinese leaves mustard 芥菜) and mustard with large stem (大头菜). The former one was pickled directly and the later one was cut into shreds and sun dried before storing in the jars. Each time, when the fresh pickled vegetables were ready, the aroma filled the whole room and we were all expecting yummy dishes out of them.
This indeed is a very easy and simple but there are several tips I need to share. I am using a large glass jar and I pick around 4 trees each time.
- How to choose mustard green for pickling recipes
For pickling, I would recommend choose matured ones with some stem than younger ones because they usually have stronger taste and contains less water.
- How to prepare the container-jar
No matter you are using a glassy jar or Earthenware jar; soak it with boiling water (really hot waters) for around 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. It is really important to use oil-free and water free tool to take some of the pickled mustard greens out.
- How long can this pickled mustard green keep?
It can be kept for around 6 months, so you can make a large batch once. But all the mustard green should be soaked in the water, so you will need a large container.
Separate the mustard green or cut into large chunks and rinse in running water. Discard any dirt leaves.Lay the washed mustard greens in a clean gridiron or anything similar to dry the water. Turn over several times and make sure that there is no water on the surface. I would suggest air-drying for around 12 hours until the leaves begin to wither.
Prepare the glass gar: wash the gar with boiling water and then set aside to drain.
Transfer the withered mustard green in a large bowl. Rub the leaves with salt until they are totally withered and begin to loose water. Squeeze the water out. Then place the mustard green leaves in the glass jar. Press each layer down. Add around 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn seeds in the jar. Pour enough boiled water to soak all the leaves.
- 1kg mustard greens
- Boiled water as needed
- 2 and ½ tablespoons salt
- 1 large airtight glass jar
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn seeds (optional)
- Separate the mustard green or cut into large chunks and rinse in running water. Discard any dirt leaves.
- Lay the washed mustard greens in a clean gridiron or anything similar to dry the water. Turn over several times and make sure that there is no water on the surface. I would suggest air-drying for around 12 hours until the leaves begins to wither.
- Prepare the glass gar: wash the gar with boiling water and then set aside to drain.
- Transfer the withered mustard green in a large bowl. Rub the leaves with salt until they are totally withered and begin to loose water. Transfer the mustard green leaves in the glass jar.
- Place 1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorn seeds and remaining salt in the jar. Pour water to soak all the leaves. Use a weigh to make sure the mustard greens are soaked in water.
- Cover the jar completely, move to shade place and wait for 7 to 15 days until the water becomes bright yellowish green (the time is based on room temperature, the warmer, the shorter).
- Taste it to see whether it is ready. The well- picked mustard green should be salty and slightly sour.
For healthy consideration, adding some vitamin C to the jar can help to reduce nitrite content.