Pickled mustard greens

Pickled mustard green stems and leaves

Pickled mustard green stems and leaves

Chinese pickles are generally made sweeter than Western style pickles so they’re not really mouthpuckeringly tart. This mustard green version is versatile and can be used in a stir fry or eaten as a side dish.

The heart of a mustard green stem, halved

The heart of a mustard green stem, halved

As always, great pickles rely on great ingredients. Buy mustard greens that have chunky stems for a better textured pickle that’s more toothsome to bite. Bright green when fresh, the vegetable turns well…a dark mustard-green when pickled. You can cure the pickles in any non reactive container but I love this old Chinese clay pot with lid. It’s rustic and beautiful.

Chinese claypot

Chinese claypot

Eaten ‘raw’, you can still distinguish the familiar mustard bite. Have it sliced with Chinese BBQ meats or on the side with congee. The mustard flavour mellows if cooked and it’s delicious in a simple stir fry with sliced beef or squid.

Mustard green pickles will keep for at least 4 months if well sealed in the fridge so it’s worth making a large batch when you find the perfect mustard green specimens for pickling. Just remember that the proportion of vinegar to sugar is 1:1. I haven’t given exact amounts because it depends on how much mustard greens you decide to preserve.

Feeds: Depends on how much pickle you make
Start cooking: At least 4 days before eating

Pickled mustard greens

Ingredients:

  • Mustard greens
  • Salt
  • White vinegar
  • White sugar
  • Whole dried chillies (optional)

Method:

  1. Separate each leafy stalk of the mustard greens. Cut the chunky heart in half.
  2. Place a single layer of leaves in a shallow, wide container. Scatter a teaspoon of salt over and around each leaf. Continue layering until complete.
  3. Leave the salted mustard greens for at least 4 hours or overnight. The leaves will begin to shrivel, soften and wilt a little.
  4. Once the salting stage is complete, rinse the leaves thoroughly and drain in a colander for 6 hours.
  5. Place the drained leaves in a non-reactive container that has a lid. Carefully measure out the white vinegar and pour in just enough to cover the leaves.
  6. Stir in the same amount of white sugar and a few dried chillis to taste. Cover and leave to cure in a cool place or fridge for at least 4 days before eating.
Salted mustard green

Salted mustard green

Good eaten as is or cooked

Good eaten as is or in a stir fry

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