Pickled Mustard is available in different styles all across East Asia and is especially popular in Chinese cuisine, where it may be identified simply as ‘Suān Cài’ (酸菜), which simply means ‘Sour Vegetable’, or more specifically as Suān Jiècài (酸芥菜), meaning ‘Sour Leaf Mustard’. Home-made versions are often pickled in brine only, and thus tend to be very sour from the lactic acid alone (as well as very salty), but commercial varieties often include vinegar and sugar and can thus be quite sweet. Many, although not all, of the Thai-Style Pickled Mustard products available are very much of the sweet-sour type. They are almost ubiquitous in Asian grocery stores and seem largely to have been packaged with the Chinese market in mind. They keep well, and their versatility makes it well worth having a package or two on hand.Read More →
Zha Cai, or Sichuan Preserved Vegetable, is a spicy Sichuanese specialty featuring a type of mustard stem pickled by packing it with salt, garlic and chili. It is a very versatile pantry ingredient that packs a powerful flavor punch and can be added to soups and stews, as well as steamed or stir-fried dishes.
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