Pickled Mustard Greens, or Swan Tsai, are a traditional Chinese favorite. They’re the sour chopped veggies you get in the Beef Noodle Soup (if you get an authentic one) or in Taiwanese dishes like Minced Pork Rice or Pork Chop Rice. Oh, I also love when they are sauteed with squid.

So I asked my mom how to make Swan Tsai, and was shocked to learn how easy it was:

1. Get a large clean jar (with lid). Clean the mustard greens very thoroughly by rinsing with water and rubbing the dirt off with your fingers.
2. Press a few leaves into the jar, sprinkle with table salt, press another couple of leaves, sprinkle with table salt. Repeat until you reach the top, making sure to pack in tightly. Fill the jar with water and top with about a tablespoon of white vinegar. This is just to prevent mold. Cover tightly.
3. Bring it over to the sink and turn it upside down 2 or 3 times.
4. Now just let it sit. In warm weather, it will only take a few days. In the winter, it will take up to 9 days. It all depends on your room temperature.

5.You have to check to see when it’s done. After a few days, the bright green will turn to yellow and brown. If you look closely, you can still see some bright green. Wait until all of it turns brown. Now you can taste it by using a clean chopstick. Every time you open the jar, top with a spoon of vinegar before closing it. You can also add water if the water level has dropped. If the mustard greens don’t taste like they are pickling by day 6, you probably didn’t use enough salt. Add more and turn the jar upside down a few times.

6. When it’s done (to your taste), remove the leaves from the water and store in tupperware, in the fridge.

*Note: Water can be re-used to pickle more mustard greens. Just pack in the leaves and sprinkle a little more salt and top with vinegar again.

I LOVE Swan Tsai, sour and salty, crunchy and crispy, ok, they are an ugly color, but it’s so so good! The anticipation while it’s pickling is what kills me so start making more before you finish your stash.

pickled mustard greens
posted by jessica at 08:30 AM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.