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Thai Preserved Mustard Greens


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Today I picked up a package of Thai preserved mustard greens at a small Asian (Vietnamese, Thai, Philippine) market here. Initially the idea was to use them as a simple side, so I asked some of the employees if I needed to cook them since another similar package indicated it had to be cooked. They asked what I was going to do with it, and said to use it as a side to just rinse it with water.

Their answer suggested their are a number of other uses for the preserved mustard greens hot or in other preparations or dishes. Would appreciate it if anyone can tell me what kinds of things to do with them.

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I've never seen the Thai version in stores; can you show us the package/item? (Here's a flickr image of the ya cai that I usually buy for dan dan noodles.) I think that using their pungency to offset a rich dish would work for the Thai ones, no?

Chris Amirault

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There were three or four different packages of Thai preserved mustard greens for sale. The others were in small packages, and the one I got was probably 4 - 5X larger at 850 g. A sign claimed it had the best taste and the ingredient list was consistent with the claim. The others were simpler preparations, this one has "mustard, water, salt, sugar, spices, specialty, containing, garlic, chili, galengale, tumeric, sodium benzoade 0.1%".

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I would be glad to hear more.

I think I'll try a stir fry with pork next week, and report back. May have time to pick up some long beans...and a Chinese version of the mustard greens for comparison. 'll try to get a pic of the Thai package, too. It looks very different than yours, Chris.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of my favorite dishes to make with these are actually not Thai at all, but Chinese (and Mongolian style). It's Rinsed Lamb Hotpot. It's one of the easier hot pot dishes to make. You heat up water in a hot pot with a generous amount of the preserved mustard greens in it for flavor(chopped small - they will expand). I put a little salt in the broth too. Either and electric pot or one with an alcohol (or gas) flame will work. Then dip thinly sliced lamb into it briefly (it cooks very quickly) and dip into a sauce. Chinese cabbage, shitake mushrooms, scallions, and other vegetables can also be added. The sauce is made of Fermented red tofu cubes, cilantro (coriander leaves), sesame paste, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. The amounts can vary - but nearly equal parts works well (save for the sugar with should be about a 1/2 part). Blend these together (or use a mortar and pestle), adding a bit of water to make a liquid consistency.

Then lastly, after all the lamb is done, put wide bean thread noodles into the resulting broth and cook till tender. Put in a little of the sauce and enjoy!

Now the mustard greens seem a minor component, but without them this dish is rather flat and tasteless!

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