Pickled vegetables are the most commonly side ingredients used in Sichuan cuisine. You may heard of Paojiao (泡椒) or Suan Cai（酸菜 ）in Chinese.
If you ever visited Sichuan province, you will find that there are many dishes calling for pickled chili pepper (Pao Jiao)as the main spicy ingredients such as shredded pork with pickled chili pepper, beef with chili pepper etc.Do you feel that they are quite far from you? In fact, No! You can make it at home with a very simple process and ingredients. The basic concept of picked vegetable is the same with other cuisines--use salt to pickle.
The most important part of picked vegetables is to prepare a good equipment. Generally earthen jar is the best choice but if you really cannot find one, you can use glass jar instead. I have one earthen jar and one glass jar.
There are many ingredients can be used to make pickled vegetables in Sichuan cuisine for example cucumber, fresh ginger, chili pepper and some other leaf vegetable. However, I do not recommend making all of those ingredients once but making other pickled vegetables after getting the basic salty water with only several types of original ingredients.
The following recipe is the basic instruction about how to make pickled chili peppers at home. After this, you can add more vegetables to make pickled vegetables. The tastes and flavor of the chili peppers will also be absorbed by other vegetables. Personally, I think this method is better than pickling vegetables separately in class jars.
One of the secret of making the pickled vegetables is to lay one layer of ingredients, then salt and Sichuan peppercorn. Repeat the process until all the ingredients are placed.
If you do not like the taste of thumb, then reduce the amount of Sichuan peppercorn used.
Pickled Vegetable Sichuan
- 2 lbs. water
- 10 oz. salt
- 1 lbs. chili red pepper , long chili red pepper; you can also replace it with green ones.
- 1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorn
- 1 lbs. fresh ginger
- Wash your pickle jar carefully and then put aside to drain all the water.
- Wash all the ingredients carefully and then drain them thoroughly. There should be no water.
- Put the water in a large pan and heat the water to boiling. Then move away from fire to cool down naturally.
- Get the dried pickle jar, put one layer of chili pepper and tender ginger, add one layer of salt and sparkle some Sichuan peppercorns. Repeat again until all the peppers and gingers are placed.
- Pour cooled down water to pickle jar. Make sure that all the ingredients are soaked by water.
- Cover the lid and pour some water in the edge to prevent any air goes into the jar.
- Put the jar in a cool environment and wait for 7 days.
- Add other ingredients into the jar to make your own favorite pickled vegetables. You can add cabbage, green beans, cucumber and radishes.