Northern people love to eat boiled young mustard greens leave and dip it with egg-fish sauce(boiled egg mix with fish sauce) during the cold seasons.
Some eat sauteed mustard greens with garlic (which is very healthy and delicious) year-round.
But the most popular dish from this cruciferous vegetable is pickle.
Back then in 80s-90s, almost every family had a jar of picked greens mustard in their kitchens.
Today, not every family still make them but if you have chance to visit any Vietnamese wet market or grocery shops, you also can easily find them.
In Việt Nam, mustard greens is always among the cheapest vegetables.
People are so love to pickle it that it’s the main pickled vegetable in Việt Nam.
The pickling process is very easy , using simple and basic ingredients that you can find them just everywhere:
Water, salt, green onion, and of course, mustard greens.
The pickling process although simple yet helps to decrease the bitterness and pungency of the raw mustard, bring out the natural sweet and add a tangy taste to the mustard greens.
Everybody would love it.
Having pickled mustard green in hand, one can make so many delicious simple dishes.
We use it to make soup(with beef; pork rips or pork belly and tomatoes), or saute it with pork fat,chop an mix it with fried rice, braise it with vegetables or roasted pork meat, eat raw with just only fish sauce and rice.
So many dishes to list down here. We just simply love it, especially people in the North.
If you have chance to wander around Hà Nội, you will definitely see:
“Cơm rang dưa bò”,
which means fried rice with pickled mustard greens and beef, at every corners of any street in the old town.
Pickled mustard greens’ light tangy taste and crunch texture counterbalance many salty dishes.
This makes it marry well with any kind of braised dish such as braised a fish in clay pot, or famous Vietnamesen braised pork belly in coconut juice.
One thing you should know that pickled greens mustard and Vietnamese braised pork belly in coconut juice are THE MUST HAVE foods for southern people in Vietnamese new year.
There were so many stories back then about moms sold her only dress or Áo da i(traditional dress) to buy pork meat and cook this dish for her kids on New year days.
Here comes my simple but great recipe for making Vietnamese pickled mustard green that even an amateur can make it successfully.
Just follow these basic steps and soon you will have tasty, crunchy dưa cải muối chua (Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens )
2-3 pounds mustard greens
15-20 stalks green onion
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (optional)
15 cups water
4 tsp sea salt (I don’t use table salt because it doesn’t make the pickle taste any good)
1 tsp sugar
10-15 shallots (optional, if you don’t have it in hand, it’s totally fine, it has nothing to do with the taste of pickle mustard greens)
Four steps to remember:
2 days (48 hours) before making pickle, cut off the end of the mustard greens, separate all the leaves, spread them on a tray in a single layer and set aside for about 48 hour(winter time).
By this way we use the heat to draw out the moisture.
If you make it in the summer time, bring the tray and dry mustard greens in the sun from am to pm.
This step will give pickled mustard green a very crunchy crispy texture.
Traditionally, a good pickled mustard green MUST be very crunchy crispy, has beautiful yellowish color.
Wash mustard greens well, cut into 2-2,5 inches long and set aside.
In the meantime, slice off the stems of green onion and throw away, wash and cut 2-2,5 inches long.
Clean the shallots.
In a large pot, combine SEA salt, water and sugar.
Bring to boil and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Set aside to cool down
Mixed the shallots, green onion, ginger and mustard greens together. Put them in a clean airtight jar.
Pour the liquid into the jar.
Make sure the vegetable is covered in the water.
You can put a smaller bowl or plate(as heavy as possible) into the bowl holding the mixture in order to keep the greens submerged.
Put the jar in room temperature.
It should be ready to eat around 3-8 days depend on the temperature. After the pickle is tangy enough to eat, it last for about 2-3 weeks if stored the fridge.
Beautiful appetite ^-^
By LITTLE Q