Chinese mustard green, or Kai Choy, is a much-loved vegetable in many southern provinces of China. It has a bitter, peppery taste and a crunchy texture which make it perfect for pickling. Pickling the mustard green is a simple process requiring minimum effort – only 4 steps:
- Wash the mustard greens and put them in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
- Put mustard greens into a good size container in layers and salt each layer generously. The ideal proportion between mustard green and salt is 10:1.
- Let them sit for about 3 hours and squeeze the salted mustard greens until most of the liquid comes off.
- Put into a zip-locked bag, or container with lid on, refridge for at least 12 hours.
voilà – you now have perfectly pickled mustard green ready for cooking..I was chatting with Tao the other day that why many Americans eat less vegetables than Chinese. One of the reasons might be Americans prefer eating raw vegetables and Chinese love both raw and cooked ones. Actually Chinese eat more cooked vegetables than raw ones. It would be hard to imagine eating one pound raw vegetables at once but it is much easier to do so when cooked. You get the cue now, right.
Pickled Mustard Green stir fried with minced pork is a favorite family-style dish served in many Chinese restaurants. If you don’t bother cooking, you can always dine out to try it. Cooking-ready pickled mustard green is also available in almost any Chinese supermarkets. I often buy them directly. Since I made my own this time, it deserves a feature on my blog.Ingredients:
- 0.5 lbs – Pickled mustard green, washed, drained and chopped.
- 0.5 lbs – Minced pork, marinated with 2 tbs of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 1 tbs of soy sauce, 1 tbs of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of white peppercorn powder or a tiny bit of crushed black pepper, 1 tbs of thick corn starch water mixture to tenderize the meat.
- Add chopped pickled mustard green into a heated pan, and stir to bring out the excess moisture in it until fragrant. Put it into a serving dish for later usage. Note that no cooking oil is added at this time, otherwise it would be very hard for the water to evaporate.
- Use the same pan and heat until hot, add cooking oil, and then add marinated minced pork, stir constantly for a minute and half until fragrant, break the lumps if necessary. You can splash a bit of water or cooking wine on the outer circle of the pork and bring off the brown bit on the bottom of the pan (if not using a non-sticky pan.).
- Add in cooked pickled mustard green, some chili pepper flakes, and stir everything together for 1 more minute. Usually, you won’t need to salt anymore.
- Finish with 1tps of sesame oil.